A strip of corrugated pavement (as along the edge of a highway) that causes rumbling and vibration when driven over.
On more than one occasion my tires have met with the rumble strips, and each time I am jarred by the noise and the vibration. They are meant to warn drivers that they have strayed from their lane. They are a reminder to get back on the road. Each time my tires meet them I find myself reflecting briefly on the possibility of being in an accident. They remind me to pay attention. Paying attention is hard work.
Often I hear people say that when someone they know dies, it is a wake up call. I have felt that way when someone close to me has died; asking deeper questions about whether I spend my time and money and energy in ways that matter, in ways that enrich my own life as well as the lives of people around me.
When I hit the rumble strips on the road I try to let it be a reminder to ask those questions, and if I find I have strayed from the road I want to be traveling, I try to get back on.