It’s there. I know it is. I but it’s funny that I have forgotten enough and experienced it enough to never forget. A pot hole the size of a utility sink. Hidden in the “darkness on the edge of town”. Waiting like a concealed bear trap. Formed from neglect, and easily rectified with a little attention. This… thing… is not picky. It will lay pray and perform for anyone.
It along with several others, are tollgates on my morning commute, when the morning winter sun is still somewhere just off the eastern seaboard and not yet woven through the atmosphere and trees in our mid-continent flat lands. Not yet bouncing off the homes and the buildings and spreading over our vista with ambient light.
I know “the sink” is coming as I roll west, I slow down as I approach it and wait to see if those in the progression know of it too. Most do and they swerve to the right, correct and come back to lane middle.
Today was nothing different… here it comes, swerve, correct… roll on… prepare for the stop light. But today for some reason I noticed a massive pile of slush and snow just past the sink. Road crap that had been knocked off of cars that had not made the self-preserving avoidance maneuver. Cars (people really) that didn’t see it or worse forgot.
And it struck me. This event is reminiscent of our lives. We roll along in a routine. Striving to grow, meet our commitments, do our best, pursue our passions and find some reward in it all. We get to focused on the task and little things from the journey start to stick to us. Pollution in our blood stream. Fat on our hips. Guilt from time we should have spent with the ones we love but let slide… slush and ice on our mud flaps. Our bigger broader vision narrows on a single target.
And then we don’t see the sink, we forget it is there and we slam through it. Jarring our bones, bending a rim, knocking out our alignment. It is sobering and we seek to blame others but really it is our fault. We failed to pay attention.
An illness that could have been avoided. An event that slaps us and wakes us up. Some catastrophic event happens to a friend and suddenly you wish you had spent more time with them. You get a threatening diagnosis and your future is challenged… you hit a sink in the road.
The good news is… really good news… is that we have the ability to proactively address this. We always have the best intentions. We can steer past the uncharted reefs if we keep the big picture in mind and stay in the moment. Humans are wonderful creatures. It’s within our power to not lose sight and live a life that is full enough and balanced enough to contend with the pot holes when they try to swallow us up.
And it’s also good news that we are not steel belted radial tires for a living.