I love the open road.
Getting in my car and heading out with no destination in mind, free to go anywhere. The thrill of endless possibilities stretching out before me (or us, when my wife and I are together in the car).
The sense of exploration always triggers happy feelings in me. And no matter how many times I’ve traveled the same roads, when I’m in a creative carefree space, I see new things.
The world is such an amazing place and I’ve always been fascinated by those who make a career out of discovering all of its joys. One of my all-time favorite TV shows was, On The Road, with Charles Kuralt. He had a passion for exploration and connection, and along with my father, probably inspired my sense of adventure the most.
I recognize that there are always bends in the road, which can add to the fun, because that’s where a lot of surprises sit waiting for me. Yes, I think they are waiting for me, ready to mystify or dazzle me.
But, sometimes someone pulls out of their driveway, headed to the grocery store or the doctor’s office or somewhere else, with no intention of driving anywhere near the speed limit. My wife and I have a saying we apply to them. ‘They have nowhere to go and all day to get there and no idea how to.’
Of course, this is unfair. They may have some idea, it’s just not obvious to us.
It is one of the drawbacks of beautiful country roads, there are almost no places to pass slow drivers or extra wide farm equipment or huge semis that chose the rural route over the superhighway. So, I have to wait until they make it to their destination or turn off somewhere.
It’s a call to patience for me. I know this is the truth.
Isn’t it funny how the experiences we need most, come up so often in our lives? It is as if I am universally connected to the pokey country driver and he or she knows exactly when I am coming, even if I don’t. He or she knows when to get up, get dressed, eat, pull on their coat, start up their car and back out into the road right in front of me. The precision of it boggles my mind, after all I didn’t even know which roads I’d be taking.
Do you think I’m imagining all of this, that this scenario couldn’t possibly play out as I’ve described it? That it is pure coincidence?
I wonder sometimes.
So, what keeps bringing me back to the open road?
I think it is the sense of freedom and surprise. The slice of priceless beauty looking off to one side of the road and seeing a vast stretch of green grass, bordered by huge guardian trees, with mountain peaks in the far distance, beckoning me to come to them.
When I am at my clearest, I can see into the story of my life.
Everything that appears real to me and that I take for granted, shifts right before my eyes. The open road becomes a vivid metaphor to me for the awakened life I hope to lead. It is filled with beauty and promise and grand opportunities, if I believe they are there. And if I am patient, and look around instead of straight ahead, I can see and reach for them and draw joy into my life.
So, I try to remind myself, that the open road leads in every direction and promises me adventure no matter what.
Next time you’re out on the road, maybe we can spot each other and wave. I’ll be looking for you.
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