Sweet Seattle Rituals

In Seattle, there are many residential roads where cars are parked on both sides of the street and there is only room for one car to drive through at a time. I sincerely treasure the norms that the citizens of this city have developed for this situation.

Drivers self-organize. One person chooses to pull over into an opening between parked cars while the other car drives through. The car who has been granted permission to pass almost always gives the other driver a wave of gratitude. The driver that pulled over often waves back. I love this ritual. There is often even eye contact during these exchanges.

Today I felt a real fondness for the guy that let me drive through. I thought to myself "I like him!" I then felt a little pang of sadness. When we're not adorned with our clunky metal armor, I often don't find people exhibiting the same willingness to extend oneself into another person's personal space in kind and friendly ways. hmmm... how can I start living this more fully?

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posted by ashley

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