On a day trip to the coast, my husband and I found ourselves in atypical traffic driving over the mountain that leads out of our town.
A pick up was ahead of us, tailgating a large camper that was slowly navigating the sinewy curves down the mountain as it towed a car behind it.
The pick up was persistent; swerving into the opposite lane around blind turns, and riding the camper way too close.
At first Casey and I were annoyed, and then alarmed, and finally furious.
I wanted to honk at the tailgater, holler out our window at him, pull him over and give it to him, take down his license plate and call the police. (We couldn’t see the plates.)
I began fantasizing revenge.
This was my red flag.
May he feel safe. May he feel at ease. May he feel in control…
To the offering of Metta, I added a cooling breath, rolling my tongue, and breathing through it like a straw.
Within moments, I felt better.
Did he slow too?
Soon we were at the bottom of the mountain and the camper turned off the highway.
I thought about my voice and politics.
Alleviating or exacerbating?
To whom am I paying attention?
And how might I be most helpful given the circumstance of each situation?