I was waiting to make a left, to get out

of traffic. She was across from me, in a

red hatchback, waiting to enter. The cars

whizzed by like hornets. Our eyes met briefly

and the whole journey was suddenly evident:

always going somewhere, always unsure how

to get there, waiting for the chance to join,

to lead, to follow, relieved to make our way,

till we miss our exit and wonder, “Where to

now?” The speed of the traffic made our cars

shimmy. We caught each other’s eye again,

missing our chance. She shrugged. I laughed.

The moment of pause had opened a different

dimension that made us impervious to the pull

of the hive, at least for a while. Then, in a flash,

she was sucked into the whir. Someone behind

me began honking. I couldn’t move. I wanted

out. Once home, I had a glass of water on the

deck, where the peony, weighed down with

all its beauty, was drinking from the birdbath.

I thought, “Oh, teach me how to stop.”

A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or loved one, talk about your experience of trying to lead and trying to follow.

Excerpted from The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting by Mark Nepo, published by Sounds True, November 2016.

*photo credit: unsplash.com

Originally published at www.patheos.com on December 5, 2016.

Originally published at medium.com