I really enjoy driving, always have. There is something about being in a vehicle, on the road, with nothing else to do between point A and point B except drive and just be. I flip through the radio or listen to a random CD. I'll look out the window at the scenery passing by. I will contemplate the freedom in possibility to keep driving; to go anywhere and everywhere my heart desires. But mostly I just let my mind wander.
I'm driving car #3 now – not counting the blue mini-van I sort of inherited from my parents in 3rd year university. And while I do love my Fit, I miss the sun roof from my Sunfire! I miss opening it all the way to let the sunshine and some fresh air in. I miss leaning my head back and seeing the stars through it at night. I miss the feeling of freedom and brief connection to the outside world when the rest of the car was shut tight around me.
My mind wandered to that sunroof on Sunday night during my drive home. I looked out my side windows and windshield at Orion's Belt and other constellations I do not know names for, and marvelled as I have many times before at the beauty and expanse of the night sky. I kept thinking that I should pull over on a dark road and just take in the breathlessness of it.
But then I would be alone on a dark road in the middle of the night, and that just didn't feel very safe.
Instead I let my mind wander back to many of my long drives. I realized that the ending of each of my significant relationships was marked not only by a change in hair style, but also with a situation that required more frequent and longer drives. I spent a lot of time thinking on those drives. Processing. Healing. Practising conversations I could have, should have, maybe even would have had if opportunity arose. And I shed a lot of tears.
I thought about previous writings where I developed metaphors of driving along life's road: through rain with wipers that only partially and temporarily clear the view; over slippery, snow-covered roads that hide dangerous patches; headlight's that reveal only a short distance ahead; unexpected twists and turns; hills so steep you cannot see beyond them until at the very top; and other cars sharing the journey at times. Journeys that no road-map can direct you on. When feeling lost is both terrifying and an exciting adventure.
I thought about the road I was currently on, in part at least, and how different it was driving it this time – thankfully not marking the end of a relationship – compared to a time when I drove it more often.
My attention kept returning to Orion's Belt; sometimes in front of me, sometimes to my left. I find the stars comforting, no matter which night sky I look up at; whether through a sunroof, a windshield, or no glass at all. I like the reminder that we are but one small piece of this big beautiful space. I like the seemingly constancy of it, though I know it too is ever-evolving. I like that, while I am driving, I have nothing to do but marvel at things like the night sky. I like that driving, much like the night sky, has been there for me through tears and smiles; through endings and new beginnings; through sunsets, moon-rises and stars. And I like that driving continues to be there for me, always offering time and space to just be.