by Digger Barr
I pulled out of the rest area and headed towards the exit. I had barely reached the stop sign when the front grill of another car loomed in my rearview. I turned toward the highway and began the merge, looking cautiously for oncoming traffic. The front grill was pushing my progress.
Highway 2 is a scenic byway. It is often closed in the winter due to heavy snowfall. This gives you an idea of the mountains this highway twists and turns through. Temperatures were reaching into the upper 90’s and there was still snow on the north facing slopes.
Most of the travelers on this fine hot summer day were recreation seekers, campers and the ever persistent RV’er. The impatient vehicle unenthused with my existence was loaded with outdoor gear and kids bikes on the back.
Yes, they passed me immediately allowing me the chance to check them out. This driver brings up something that has been on my mind lately, Frenetic energy. Despite the fact that the road we were traveling together called for patience and caution, this driver displayed neither.
The thing is I do not know the why of their need to rush down the road. Having just left a rest area I would assume everyone had made use of the facilities. So why the need to frantically drive and rudely tailgate? I do not know and I will probably never know in this situation.
This incident is familiar to most people who travel on today’s road. Dive into the populated areas of the world and it is commonplace. But anymore you can be on on a country road and any car traveling faster than you will display the same behavior.
I got settled in behind an RV and kept my distance 18 or more car lengths back. This was an opportunity to enjoy the views and take in the scenic byway without needing to be stressed or rude. Another car with blue kayaks on top settled in behind me apparently adopting a similar philosophy. We made good progress, nobody got hurt.
I noticed upon leaving the byway and merging onto the interstate a return of the frenetic energy. Everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. So many cars, so many people, never enough time.
we rush and race, we stress and pace mad hatters we are, mad hatters with cars.
I did not grow up with this type of energy. In fact, on the Reservation where I was raised we barely cared about time at all. Oh sure there was a time to get up, whenever you wanted. And there was a time to go to bed, when there was nothing left to do. As long as you were somewhere by sundown, you were good. The days passed with a focus on what needed to get done and doing it until it got done then wait to see what was next. No rush on that.
It wasn’t until we moved into a city that I realized there was a different world out there with a whole set of different ideas.
I am so grateful for my base line perspective. I can look at things and see them differently and have something from which to gauge what I am witnessing. Yes, it’s kinda like Alice witnessing Wonderland.
Since my emergence into the frenetic culture I get swept up into its all encompassing consumption. It pulls one in and absorbs your energy and spins it into an endless cycle of repeated behaviors.
Get up, we gotta make money. We gotta spend money. We need to make more money,
Hurry, we need to rest. Hurry, we need money for that. Hurry we need to get back to work..
Then the machine spits you out at retirement. Sometimes ahead of the game.
At least for a while. but more often than not, broken and still broke.
Hurry, we need to heal.
I cannot say this is the same for every culture but it certainly seems true in the prevailing global environment.
How does one break the cycle when the chain is linked together in such a way that disconnecting throws the world into more chaos?
Stay connected. Frenetic energy gets things done. Faster.
There were two basic routes for me to travel from point A to point B on this trip.
Route one is freeway the whole way for 6 hrs. Hot pavement and racing rabbits.
Route two is a partial freeway but then switches to slower travel as it traverses through green mountains and over gushing rivers.
Six hours of straight driving is hard on my body anymore. And now with this route I just added more time.
I have done this trip many times via Route one because of winter roads. I am always exhausted when I arrive.
Since it’s summer I jumped at the opportunity to take Route two even though it takes a bit longer. This time I arrived relaxed and full of energy. I noticed this right away and don’t know why it surprised me.
It was an Aha moment for me as an example on how to break the cycle of frenetic madness.
Change your route. Change your routine. Change your perspective.
You can still get from A to B. but we can do it differently.
An intentional adjustment in perspective and it shifts the energy in everything.
Could you imagine if , with a small adjustment done by everyone, how big a difference we can make globally? Regionally? Locally?
I don’t know what the urgency was in that one car but I felt their angst. Imagine if they decided to enjoy the scenery a little more. Would that have changed the energy inside their car? Would it have changed their driving habits?
I don’t know for sure.
But I know it worked well for me.
We have all heard, change your perspective and change your world. Let’s look at expanding that to Change your perspective and change the whole world.
Break the chains of frenetic existence and step into a world of better health, fuller experiences and nicer people.
Have a calm and blessed day
with gratitude and appreciation