Sunday, 9 November 2014


I have pretty good intuition, except for a couple of fairly glaring blind spots. I've learned to trust that inner voice that speaks to me about things like what the weather might do, or where the deer might be hiding, or what the fish might find interesting to eat. I'm a pretty good judge of what people might do in a given situation and how they might react. Oddly enough, I even have that kind of intuition around technology; I just know what to do at times without actually being able to explain why I know it.

There is a term for this; it's called "conscious unconscious competency". It means knowing that you know something without actually having to think about why you know it, or without having to go through a complex thought process to respond. You just do, and you trust your instincts, if that's what they are.

Yesterday is a great example of this. I awoke in the morning looking out the window from my Mom's bedroom, wondering at the leaves on the trees and the clouds in the sky. I noticed that the clouds were moving east. I also noticed that they were the kinds of clouds that precurse a change in weather, most likely to be rain on the coast of BC.

Then I rolled over and thought about getting dressed, about whether or not I should go home on Saturday or Sunday, or even if I should stay another week. After all, just a couple of phone calls and emails would free me up until the following weekend, even longer if I wanted. Yet something in me said "go home today." I went to see my Mom in hospital where she is recovering nicely from her hip injury; she will go home soon enough as well. Then I hit the road, with one stop to see an old friend in Abbotsford.

Once I got underway I thought about stopping in the hunting camp to see how the day went. I decided against it, pushing on through the evening. I arrived at the half way point, thinking I should stop for the night, but the hockey game had just started on the radio so I kept on driving. Further down the road I thought I should probably stop for the night, watch the hockey game at a local pub, and rest until the next day; but then the Kings scored a couple of quick goals and I thought to myself, "Do I really want to pay for a hotel and buy beer in a pub just to watch the Canucks lose?" I rolled on into the night.

At about 11:00 PM I drove into Golden. The game was over, a predictable, ugly loss by the Canucks. I looked at hotels as I drove through town and thought to myself, I can be home by 2:00 AM. So on I went into the night. Then the weather caught up with me. As I had crossed Rogers Pass a couple of hours earlier, there had been some light snow and rain. As I headed up into Kicking Horse Pass, the snow get heavier and wetter. The road got slick, even dangerous. Through Banff it eased off a bit and I thought I had gotten lucky, that the worst was in BC.

Then the ice came, or rather that nasty mix of snow, fog and freezing rain that happens early in an Alberta winter. By the time my truck was in my garage at home, it was coated with a glistening ice cover, a cover quickly melting in the heat of the parking lot. This morning I awoke to snow; the sky is white and the roads are a mess. Winter has arrived here in Alberta.

The connection is interesting. Somehow beneath all my surface thoughts, I knew that those light, fluffy clouds heading east from Vancouver would mean snow in the high country. Somehow I knew that the cold of Alberta would meet that moisture soon enough, making the roads dangerous and the drive tedious. Somehow I just knew; go home today, keep driving, don't wait for tomorrow.

Of course it might have been just luck. It might have been my habit to drive all the way back to Calgary in a day. It might have been any number of things. But it happens to me a lot this way, where I just managed to see things coming, at least some things. Sometimes I get blindsided, but not all that often.

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