Speeding Along

One thing my father has never received:  a speeding ticket.  It’s not for lack of speeding.  The man speeds.  I remember family trips as harrowing, white-knuckled, adrenaline-pumped thrill rides.  It always feels like you’re going faster when you’re in the passenger seat.  As scary as it felt, we were all quite safe – my father has also never had an accident.

Since we moved out to the island from the Big City, a beat-up, 30-year-old rust bucket of a car has become a necessary part of our lifestyle.  I commute 80 km every day to work and back.  If we need to “go to town” for supplies, we’re looking at a 260 km round trip through twisting switchbacks on the mountain highway. 

The speed limit on the highways out here are intended for the tourists who have never driven mountain roads before.  The whole highway used to have 60 – 80 km/hr limits along it, but as the sad number of accidents climbed over the years, speed limits have been reduced to as little as 30 km/hr in a third of the highway. 

When you drive the highway as frequently as the locals do, you learn where you *really* have to slow down, and where you can speed.  I used to sit in great judgment of those who speed, but honestly, you need to live out here for a year before you can judge.  You balance the risk of getting home before the fog or the snow sets in with the risk of speeding in places you know it’s safe.   

And so, just as my father used to speed, I too speed, and I have never gotten a ticket.  When I drive, I sometimes hear what Echo Bodine describes as the still small voice which says “I’m going too fast”.  I always slow down when I hear this.  About half the time, there’s a speed trap around the next corner. 

I carpool with Mary, a coworker, a couple of times a week.  Last Monday, I heard the familiar voice “Going too fast.”  I looked at Mary’s speedometer and said “Mary, do you know you’re going 30 km/hr over the limit?”  The speed limit in this area had recently been reduced from 80 to 50 km/hr.

Mary slowed down and apologized. I said, “Oh don’t apologize; I thought you’d get a ticket.”

On Friday when I rode with Mary again, she thanked me for the tap on the shoulder.  “Kate, there was a speed trap there the past three days this week.  I would’ve gotten a big ticket if you hadn’t gotten me to slow down on Monday.”

Ha!

It got me thinking about my father and his lack of speeding tickets as a frequent speeder, and my own record – twenty years of driving and never a speeding ticket. 

I think that watching my father on all those family trips taught me how to sense speed traps.  He’d talk about where the traps were likely to be, and point them out to me as we drove. 

Now, I’m not condoning using your intuition to break the law.  Please, don’t try speeding just to see if it tweaks your intuition!  That’s not the point of this entry.  The point is to notice when you use your intuition successfully, in daily life.  Once you start taking notice, well, the possibilities are endless.

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