Most mornings my husband and I begin our day with a quiet cup of coffee together and then hit the road for a morning walk. We live on a scenic road, narrow, big trees that hug the street with lots of twists and turns making visibility around corners challenging.
We have gotten to know many of the morning commuters, joggers, and other walkers just by sharing the same time of day with them as we all travel on the routes we take to get to work or begin our day with exercise and a bit of nurturing by Mother Nature. I love this special time of day; it grounds me, loosens me up physically and opens me up spiritually.
Unfortunately, there are often too many cars that take advantage of this quiet time of day and speed down the road making a serene walk a gamble for personal safety. If a car is going particularly fast one of us may give them the slow down motion which doesn’t usually do any good.
One morning about 6:20 a car we weren’t familiar with as part of the regular commuters came whipping up the street. You could hear from a distance how fast he was going. My husband did the usual hand motion, begging a bit of thoughtfulness to slow down. Within less than a minute I heard a car approaching us from the direction of this driver and could feel my stomach drop, knowing it was the same driver who I feared was coming back to give us a piece of his mind. We’ve all been in situations like this and fear road rage repercussions.
For sure, it was him and I heard myself expressing a groan of concern to my husband. The man was rolling down his window and to our great surprise he began to graciously apologize for driving too fast. “You are totally right,” he said to my husband. “There was no need for me to be driving so fast and I’m really sorry about that.” Phew!! Not only was I so relieved that he didn’t have a shotgun or get out of the car to punch out my husband, but, I was so happy that someone actually turned around to offer a very sincere apology. My husband gave him some words of appreciation and the man said he was just heading to an early tee-time (!) and there was absolutely no reason he had to be flying down the road at that speed.
It was truly one of those experiences that gave me hope in humanity. I have thought about this experience over and over and pondered over what came over him to turn around. It took thoughtfulness, respect and an ability to reflect on an error and make it right. The experience reminds me of a Native American tale, “The Wolf of Hate, The Wolf of Love.” Maybe you’ve heard of this story as well.
Life is about choices. We have opportunities every day to direct our head and heart towards loving or hating, and with this choice we feed love or we feed hate. When I take the millisecond to consider what I want to nourish in my life, in my relationships, how I treat other people or how I care for the sustainability of the Earth I am feeding the wolf of love. I am much more at peace, happier, and feel aligned with my priorities I have turned around. The distractions and fear that bombard us daily can invite the wolf of hate to surface.
See the good in others, experience moments of hope and inspiration, slow down and be respectful of others on the road of life.