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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Allure of Driving

Saturday morning I decided to get up early and take my kayak out on the Housatonic River.  I had our son help me put it on the roof of our car the day before so I could just hop in and start driving.  I woke up a little after five, made coffee, had a banana and a glass of water, and by 530 I was headed out the door, way before most people would even be waking up.  I did go kayaking, the whole point of my early morning trip, but something happened when I sat in the car and started driving.   As soon as I pulled out of our driveway, the sky painted a deep orange on the horizon by the rising sun, I felt compelled to keep on driving.  My head was clear, there was a cup of strong coffee in my travel mug, sun roof open, and I felt that the world was open in front of me, beckoning me to just drive.  With a kayak on the roof, I could drive anywhere, stop off by a body of water, and put in and start paddling.  Or I could keep on driving.  It felt as if there weren't a worry in the world at that time and with very few cars on the road, I felt like I owned the road, the pavement unfurling in front of me, the white dotted lines beckoning me to follow them.  The possibilities were limitless, open, free from constraint, and very large part of me wanted to just drive for the sake of driving.  It was a solitary moment, one that tantalized and worms its way deep into your psyche.  "Drive" it says, "keep going till you hit the horizon."  But alas, my children and wife were sleeping at home, and driving aimlessly down the open road was not in the cards, but the feeling remained.  If I had no responsibilities, heaven only knows where I would have ended up.  And I suppose I could have kept on driving, but decided against it that morning.  

Later that night, I was telling my wife the feeling that I got, of feeling like everything was perfect and I could keep on driving forever with no destination in mind or goal to achieve.  She was quick to say that I was trying to escape, but that wasn't it at all.  I even, at that moment, brought my thoughts back to the morning and sifted through exactly what I was feeling, and there was no desire to escape anything, I just wanted to drive.  For those that haven't had a similar feeling, words will fall far short in attempting to explain it.  It is a feeling that resonates deep within you, a feeling of movement within your soul, of desire to do something.  In my case, at that moment, the desire was to drive.  It's as if all the stars were aligned and I was the center of them.  It was everything about that moment, the coolness outside, the sun just peeking over the horizon, the coffee, the music on the radio, the sunroof open, the quietness of the world.  It was a feeling that sometimes is best just savored, enjoyed while it is within you, and allowed to exit as it winds down.  That moment, once we are attuned to it, can be recognized as fleeting.  It is a moment that drives us forward, but is simply that, an impetus, a motivator, and spark underneath your rear.  Once started the feeling drifts away leaving tangible trails within you to hold on to, remember it by, and add to the library of one's self.  The feeling came and went, but still, I can smell the air, feel the coolness of the breeze through the window, and smile when it hits me how wonderful that feeling was.  Just the desire to drive, that's it.  And yet, it is so much more.  Sometimes we need those early mornings, those times of peace and tranquility, to use as an anchor for our hectic lives.  They ground us, let us know the world is inherently good despite what we may see the rest of the day.   Maybe next time I will keep drive on a little farther, but probably not.  I do know that I will welcome the feeling when it comes.  

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