Life is like….winter driving

I turned the corner today onto a snowy road and decided that driving in the snow is like life.  Creative huh.  And of course, now, a few hours later, I would correct myself to say that driving in the snow is a part of life, a rather uninspiring part at that.  Nonetheless, humour me for a moment and join me on the philosophical side.

I was driving on a road that I have driven before between Collingwood and Thornbury (if you’re local, you’ll know speed-trap 26).  On a summer’s day, it has road markings that periodically divide the one-lane highway into 2, for passing and turning.  Currently however, it is winter.  And as most of Ontario is experiencing, we are having a real, snow-covered-roads, winter.  If I had been new to this road, the snow markings would lead me to believe that only one lane exists.  The tires of many cars before me had driven the same lane over and over, thus making one path seemingly simple to drive in, and everything bordering it: a snowy desert.  Traffic wasn’t bad, and if I hadn’t been in this state of awareness, I would’ve stayed in the existing tracks, content and likely thinking about something else.  Somewhat similar to how most of us go through the motions of life at some point in our day: compliant and disengaged.  I’m sure I had already made it through parts of my day in that state. 

So I knew that there was another lane of pavement closer to the curb underneath a foot or so of snow, and I became acutely aware of a decision that I had to make.  Do I drive comfortably in the well-plowed lane with tracks, or do I veer off into a foot of snow; the path less traveled, and make new tracks.  On the road, and in life, the question of why surfaces when faced with this decision.  My first thoughts were that if I moved over I would be slowing down – instinctively a bad concept in our fast paced society, but not a crisis for my easy-going day  –  and perhaps that I would learn more about driving my car in snow (hopefully this wouldn’t include lessons on getting out of the ditch).  In my idealistic/altruistic world, I thought perhaps others would follow, and we could open up a new lane, a new metaphorical path……until I realized that it would be going the same place that the other path is going.  And, on top of that, it would allow more people to go there and faster.  In the metaphorical sense, I’m not so sure that’s a great thing.  It’s like expanding the highway to our species’ demise.  On the other hand, if I have to take this road anyhow, and realistically, it’s just heading to Thornbury, should I drive sheep-style and follow the crowd, or should I try to clear the other lane to help make driving (which I hypocritically don’t like) easier, safer and more efficient (NB. The latter option has a 50% chance of failure and risk of swimming in Georgian Bay).

After all of this thinking, I can’t even remember driving home, never-mind which lane I did so in, which is a terrible shift out of the awareness that got me into that dilemna in the first place.  The good news is that I’ve come to a bit of peace surrounding the dilemma of which lane to take.  Brace yourself for a bit of a “Care-bear lesson in sharing” moment.

It doesn’t matter if you choose the beaten path or the path less traveled.  What is most important is that you are aware that it is your choice.  That in every step of your day, you see that you have a choice.  When I’m able to see that I’ve chosen to drive in the lane with the tracks, I become aware that I’ve also chosen to drive that day.  That I’ve chosen to live in the country and thus I have chosen to drive to get into town.  I chose what I ate that day, who I spoke to, what I said, how I reacted to what was said/done by others, etc.  I do believe that by seeing things as my choice, rather than as being “just the way things are” and out of my control, I will bring an awareness with questions to my life.  I’ll ask ‘why?’ more often and as a result, I’ll begin to make better choices, for myself and for the world.  And that is how life is like driving in snow.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I, like most others, am faced constantly with decisions. Most times which decision I make does not matter. You are correct in saying that what is important is not the decision itself but

    “That in every step of your day, you see that you have a choice.”

    Nice post. Thanks.


  2. Posted by Nas on January 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    You are not a victim of your circumstance. Brilliant! I try to carve a new path when driving, but i won’t end up in Georgian Bay 😉

    Keep posts coming! Love them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: