Choices & Lessons ~ Earth Day 2011


not a poky driver...
I am actually a very good driver...

Getting a ticket for "rolling" through a stop sign
two years ago has deeply ingrained in me the desire
and necessity to stop, 

really stop,

at ALL stop signs, 
especially red lights...

So... as Orin, my step-son
who is here visiting from France,

and I were driving to dinner after watching
Tom Shadyac's thought provoking documentary I AM,
which is a whole other story of how Orin and I
come at something very near and dear
to our hearts from completely opposite vantage points…

I stopped at the red light
at Montgomery & Farmer's 
before making a right on red...
Just a simple hesitation
brought on honking from the car behind me...
I immediately reacted,
forgetting that I just came from a movie
all about our interconnectedness...
and how we affect each other

without ever even saying a word,

how we are really one,
you, me, and everyone else on this planet...
and turned around in annoyance,
putting up my hand to say…
"Hey! Back off and give me some space!"
(I did NOT flip him off!!!)

I then saw the driver,
who fits my stereotype of 
macho, beer drinking, over buffed,
long dyed crazy surfer streaked-blond hair
in a gianormous monster gas guzzling truck
roll his eyes and become enraged
at my "I wear" organic sustainably grown yoga pants
and recycled tread shoes,
driving a tree-hugging 
save the environment
low to the ground


Seeing that the way was clear
I made that turn,
expecting the monster truck
to rev up and roar to life next to me
before leaving me in the dust...

he became glued to my back bumper
and tailgated me through several lights
as I could not get away with the heavy traffic...

This was all I could see in my rear-view mirror...


I finally pulled into the restaurant parking lot...
and he followed me in.

(edited version of what I really said)

my heart is pounding
and I realize that my actions
have put Orin and me in possible danger...

"What do I do?"
I ask Orin..

I didn't think in the moment to use my cell phone to call 911
so I headed out of the parking lot,
with the man and the truck
right on my tail...


I then made the decision
to drive to the police and fire station...
it was at that very moment
that he finally left me,
with my heart racing
and my already over stimulated adrenals
pushed into over drive,
that he roared off into the West
waving the whole way...

Who knows…
maybe if I had ignored him in the first place,
none of this would have happened…
or maybe it would have made him even madder…

For you see...
it is about those split second choices
that I make in the moment...
this isn't about him,
or you reading this and having your own reaction,
it about my learning to find the ability
to move in a different way
than how I am hard wired
in belief and body to react...


The fact that I wear sustainably grown clothing

or drive a hybrid
isn't what's going to make a difference 
on this planet...

If I am rightous and dead set in my own beliefs...
then I AM actually the problem,
not them...

It is about how I treat others, 

especially those who do not think like I do,
and how I can move from a place of interconnectedness

and respect
 for myself
and those I find myself encountering in all of life
that will truly make a difference in this world,
on Earth Day
and every day...