Lessons from Roads Less Traveled - On Patrol
Written March 13, 2013
Comments At End of Article
Nevada Highway Patrolman Scott
There is a Great Teaching which goes,
To Follow the Path, You Must Become the Path.
at this point in my life, I am beginning to understand the meaning of
this teaching a bit better. Enough so to write a brief article about
The Portable School and I are a few months back from
walking across parts of Montana, Idaho, and Nevada - and already
planning another excursion for this summer. At the same time, we are
reflecting on last summer's path which brought numerous experiences and
I am reminded that several people were
concerned for my health and safety along the way. I suspect numerous
prayers were sent my way. Before I left, I was offered a gun to carry
which idea got nowhere. I didn't carry one in Vietnam and figured I
didn't need one in the USA.
My friend Audrey Snow was worried
that I might "get knocked over the head" for some reason, especially by
people of foreign extraction. My mother would have thought that, too.
Audrey was also concerned about me picking up things out of the ditch
and sometimes partaking thereof. I have the nickname of Still Edible in
some parts of the country.
I did indulge a few times. I tried
a few raw potatoes and a sugar beet which had fallen off trucks here
and there during harvest season in the great state of Idaho. They were
fairly tasty. Salt and pepper would have helped.
I also was
lucky to quench my thirst with a half-full bottle of cool chocolate
milk that was sitting next to an empty on the side of the road outside
of Ashton, ID - just waiting for me. That was kind of like the lone
apple on a tree on north side of Livingston, MT, that was lingering on
its stem ready for me to pick it on the way to town.
sick for a moment of 35 days on the road. Tired but not sick. No
injuries. Not even a twisted ankle. No mayhem. No problems.
met with the Law on four occasions. Those were the closest times I came
to a gun and bullets. Three of the four officers were keen and kind and
caring about my welfare. Boyle, Christensen, and Scott made me feel
good about law enforcement officers. The latter stopped to visit me
twice in my latter miles in Nevada, to offer help and a ride, if I
would accept. I wasn't ready.
My fourth experience with a
policeman didn't go quite so well. And, I do believe that it was
largely my fault. Something to learn. The officer, whose name I
conveniently have forgotten, visited me as I was taking a break next to
a big evergreen tree on the edge of a farm in the middle of Idaho.
made it quite clear that I should move on. I thought that I was just
resting my feet in broad daylight with my flag in brilliant display.
But, he didn't walk much as one could tell by his physique. But, that
was part of my problem. I did judge him for his figure and rather slow
He had to take my driver's license twice to verify my identity. He said, "You need to move along."
said, as I was putting socks and boots back on after my brief respite,
"I assure you I am continuing on down the road." He insisted on waiting
for my departure.
Next time, I will do better with all
policemen. Although 3 of 4 knew I was no threat, one didn't. I needed
to understand where he was coming from. For his my benefit as well as
You see -
• "We are always meeting self." This
favorite Edgar Cayceism is "spot on." The universe, karma, fate, the
path always lead us to meet ourselves, however far or near we move from
home base. We cannot escape ourselves.
We meet ourselves in
others, in events, in problems and illness, in triumph and tragedy. We
also meet ourselves at home and on the road, in the news programs we
turn to and the movies we watch, the songs we listen to. How could it
We even meet ourselves in the form of law officers
on the highway. Small, medium and large ones. Quick and slow. Friendly
• We also have the potential of meeting Self.
Wherever we go, there is the Divine, God, Goddess, Christ, Krishna,
Buddha staring us in the face. If we see the enemy, the adversary, the
infidel, the heathen, Satan, we are still only looking at our selves.
we, therefore, be looking for the best in the world and in others?
Then, we are certainly more likely to find it in ourselves as well.
such a way of living will make the Path easier for everyone. Since
everyone is part of our bigger Self, what we give out will indeed come
back to us - and probably magnified when it does. We can expect to see
the return somewhere down the long and winding Road.
Shalom, Peace, Namaste,
PS Comments are always welcome.
Hi Wandering Medicine Man,
Once again a great e-mail in the best spirit of Dr Bob! Really enjoyed reading it. (much to ponder too).
understand the worry of others about ones journey, whether it is
trekking or “walking the path” in any other way as we learn that we are
the path as you comment. (Maybe that is why so many people criticise
others, the worry about trekking the path????).
You have state
the fact that we can eat and not only survive but be very healthy with
less “OCDsiness”, hey our bodies have survived many thousands
(millions) of years not being so picky. I am sure it reinforces the
immune system. Probably what is important is the attitude we have when
we are eating (or anything else for that matter). Being grateful for
what comes our way is the key. Your story brought back memories of me
cycling the Basque country and picking up apples that fell from trees
along my way. The sweetest ever! Sure they wouldn’t be display at major
supermarkets but they were the best. Same goes for the drinking from
streams and just making the most of what was available as it
“surprisingly appeared” in my path. From this, I can connect to your
Love your take on guns. It is the soul and our
intend that really protect us (or not). Nothing to do with fire power.
You trusted what you were doing and therefore you did not need “the
protection that comes from a gun”. You saw beyond illusion and had a
connection with a bigger picture. A lesson on how we should trek our
daily path. Which brings us nicely to probably the best part of your
e-mail: We meet ourselves in others. We are those others and we will
get from our encounters what our linking to them brings about. If we
link from the best, then we recognise the best in others and ourselves
to the point of recognising the unity of all. We are but one soul (
Therefore, no need for guns is there? Who are we going to shoot but
ourselves?). The old Law Of Attraction at work. (should keep that more
often in mind).
At times all these may sound very “airy fairy” but
the fact that it all stems from experience, your journey, makes it very
grounded and “real”. Point made. Probably this is one of the major
assets of your writing. Not that I am judging your experience or
writing, but highlighting how a reader can view it(The Lessons from
Road Less Travelled) and benefit from it. From that point of view: Many
thanks for the sharing!
Blessing be Medicine man,
I get accused about being a "Freegan" as well.
I think I know the difference between the dates:
Sell by date
Eat by date
Die by date
I understand your experience with the policeman, I remind myself that
not all of life's lessons are to learn; some of them are to
teach. I guess he wasn't in a learning state of consciousness.
is the practice of reclaiming and eating food that has been discarded.
Freegans and Freeganism are often seen as part of a wider
"anti-consumerist" ideology, and freegans often employ a range of
alternative living strategies based on limited participation in the
conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources.
"embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation,
and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral
apathy, competition, conformity, and greed."
The word "freegan"
is a portmanteau of "free" and "vegan"; not all dumpster divers are
vegan, but the ideology of veganism is inherent in freeganism.
Freeganism started in the mid 1990s, out of the antiglobalization and
environmentalist movements. The movement also has elements of Diggers,
an anarchist street theater group based in Haight-Ashbury in San
Francisco in the 1960s, that gave away rescued food.
Dear Dr. Bob,
so much for sending out this wonderful email. Just what I needed to
hear the last couple of days. I have never attempted to walk across the
country or even to the next town, but I really understand the symbolism
involved in being open to whatever experience awaits you. These days, I
can scarcely leave the garage without some kind of adventure, including
long conversations with cows in the middle of the highway in front of
my car while traffic is backup up for three blocks. It is very
difficult to explain the premise of a "fence" to a cow, and attempting
to lead one to the side of the road, and not have him follow you back
to your car, simply defies description.
Thank you, again. Very uplifting.
I like the story.
what will you do differently next time when encountering a hostile
police officer? You didn't tell us. And what did you see of
yourself in both officers--the friendly one and the unfriendly
one?? You didn't tell us--your readers.
I like the
story. It is filled with charm and meaning. You have
a lovely way of writing about your experiences.--though I expect lovely
is not the word you would want most to be used in describing your
writing. It is nevertheless lovely.