The driver of the white box truck two cars ahead of me was clearly unhappy having to follow a little gray sedan that seemed to put their brakes on every twenty seconds. He was not only impatient, but had begun to get very close to the car and then, leaving off the brake long enough to have enough room to speed up again, would get very close to the sedan’s bumper. I can imagine the sedan was not very happy either as they turned off the road the first chance they had, and the two cars ahead of me pulled into a parking lot, so I was now directly behind the truck.
He was either late for his delivery or just having a bad day but one thing was certain – he was flying down the winding country road. I watched as he approached a single-horse Amish buggy on his right. My eyes widened when I realized he was passing the buggy going about 15 miles over the speed limit! I instantly put my foot on the brake as I saw the buggy driver begin to stand as the horse bucked wildly trying to stand on its hind legs. The truck had scared the poor thing to the point of being out of control. I was amazed at how quickly the Amish man was able to get the situation under control and couldn’t help but smile as he pulled off the road to make sure the horse was ok. What I wanted to do was floor it, catch up to the truck driver and give him a piece of my mind but instead carefully drove past the horse and buggy and continued on my way.
I couldn’t help but think of how scared that horse must have been. I’m sorry, but I don’t look at them and think “work horse” or “it’s just a horse”. I see a beautiful animal who typically has blinders on, is forced to share a once quiet country road with automobiles whose drivers only see them as a nuisance that slow up their commute, and an animal that is totally at the mercy of its handler and those they share the road with.
Can you imagine, being blind to everything on each side and only able to see what’s directly in front of you? That’s when it hit me. I’ve been on a road that seemed peaceful and calm but it only appeared that way because I had blinders on. I wasn’t really aware of what was going on around me, I was only looking forward, focused only on what was in front of me. I never imagined that out of nowhere I would be almost thrown off course because of something I didn’t even realize had been on the road all along. It wasn’t that no one saw it, it was that I didn’t see it.
How easy it is to be in the midst of a situation, feeling like there’s no way out or not even realizing you’re in a heap of trouble to begin with - until the blinders come off or something or someone has simply made you aware it exists? How much better it would be if we could be aware of what is all around us, making sure it is good for us and If it isn’t, taking the necessary steps to get out of the way? Maybe we need to be aware that we shouldn’t even be on that road in the first place and take a detour.
I think that’s one of the things I love about driving – I get to choose what road I take and once on that road, I choose how I handle the bumps, the traffic, and the other drivers. Wisdom really does come with age as I’ve learned there are times that before I even get into the car I look around and think, is today a day I should even be driving in the first place?