Friday, July 30, 2010

Just like crosstown traffic

So, I'm coming home from the second day of a two-day training class over in Ellicott City, about 35-40 miles from home.  You know me; I am not an easy rider and do not travel well.  And I really do not like driving the superslabs, especially because so many people on the highway are so heavily influenced by either NASCAR or methamphetamine that they change lanes every 8 seconds, darting in and out between other cars willy-nilly.

Marky no likey.  So I found the backroad trip and had a wonderful time - and speaking of time, I made it in just the same amount of time on the scenic route as I had on the ob-scenic route.  I timed it.

But, on the way home yesterday, I was accompanied by a hellacious second round of a two-round summer storm.  It lightninged and thundered and poured around lunchtime and then while I was on the way home the sky got dark and the thunder boomed and the rain poured down, starting off with those big splattery drops that it only takes two or three of to cover the windshield, the drops that say "You ain't seen nothing yet...there's a couple million more just like me heading down right this minute!"

And then I got to a major intersection - Old Court Road and Greenspring Avenue.  And the traffic signal was out; it must have just gone out due to a lightning hit and it didn't matter.  All the drivers were looking at it, but it was like any other lamp with no electricity - useless, unless you had a minute to watch it swaying in the gentle breeze, which none of us did.

But it reminded me of those halcyon days in the immediate aftermath of 9/11/01...the days gone too soon, when people were being kind and courteous to each other.  Instead of bullying their way through the intersection, all the drivers were inching up to the line and taking turns - just like at a four-way stop, but with a hundred times the traffic.  No one was honking their horn. It was, ok, you go, then he'll go, then she'll turn left, and then it's my turn to go straight, and then we all say thanks for the courtesy and drive on along. I have to say, cooperation is the key!  People can actually take turns and look out for each other and show kindness and think more of the other guy!

It was a small thing.  But it felt like a big thing.

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