Today I got pulled over for speeding. Fifty-seven in a forty-five mile zone. I saw the cop too late, but he saw me in plenty of time, flashed his lights, and pointed to the side of the road. I nodded and pulled over…right in front of a fire hydrant! I quickly moved past it, parked, and turned off the car. By the time the police officer reached my door, I had my license out, ready to hand it to him.
“You know why I pulled you over, don’t you?”
He nodded. “You were speeding a bit.”
“I know. I got distracted.”
He took my paperwork and returned to his patrol car. And while I waited, I noticed something extraordinary: I wasn’t upset. Or embarrassed. Or angry. It was what it was, and what it was, was fine.
I sat quietly, hands in my lap, breathing slowly, and dropped into the moment. A dog barking inside a house. Bird song. The pooling of sunlight between winter-barren branches. The sound of tires as other cars passed me, their drivers no doubt relieved that it wasn’t them who’d been pulled over. I breathed, and listened, and paused my life in that moment. Calm. Relaxed.
When the policeman returned, he handed over my license and registration…and a warning, nothing more. He explained what my fine would have been (over $100), and cautioned me to pay more attention. “Understand?”
Oh, yes, sir. I do. Loud and clear. More than you’ll ever know.