Our windshield wipers were sashaying to Ian Tyson ballads. The diesel engine growled up the grade, trailer obediently in tow. We were about to meet the clouds on the Coquahalla. It was awe inspiring in a scary way. The top of the world, a cement barrier, and a precipice were on my right. I could do nothing except sit quietly in the passenger seat looking around and thinking; a combination of activities nearly as frightening as the steep drop off.
Greg needed me to be quiet so he could concentrate on getting us over the pass alive. He claimed later that it was no problem, just a bit of mist. Easy to say once you have safely traversed the top of the world. The first half hour of our drive was uphill, although up mountain would be more descriptive. Transport trucks were crawling up at 50 kilometres per hour with their four-way flashers on, struggling to haul their loads. We passed the signs warning you to check your fuel. There was a burnt black spot on the highway, a reminder that if things went wrong you were a far cry from help. It was a brute of a hill. Just before we met the weather we got a peak at the vista through those windshield wipers; that peak on a sunny day would have been breathtaking. Yesterday it was shrouded in an ominous grey.
We crested the hill, into the clouds, and the signage changed; steep grade ahead, mandatory brake check and reduced speed limit for transport trucks, and the runaway lane. I had nothing to do but think about brake checks, runaway lanes, and runaway lives for a half an hour as we rolled down the other side of the pass.
It seemed like there might be some good lessons or analogies in the highway signage. Should we institute regular brake checks in our lives? What if we established times when we pulled over and assessed the important things? If we did what what would we check? I thought the state of our spirit and the strength of our community were two checkable items. What about the runaway lane concept? If we took care of our spirits and nurtured community in our lives, would we have a useable runaway lane if we suddenly had runaway lives?
Maybe if our spirits and our community are worthwhile checking in on, we need to figure out how to nourish our spirits and build community in all parts of our lives. How do you nourish your spirit and what do you do to build your community? Leave a comment and let’s learn from each other.