Country roads

On the road, maybe for the first time, with no destination in mind – with no goal but just to enjoy the moment… Because something beautiful and unexpected may be around the next curve.

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Photo credit: Lindy Fields
Photo credit: Lindy Fields

The fields of green grass and dandelions, swaying along with the evening breeze, surrounding the old farmhouse and barn on all sides.

This reminds me of what I love about home. A short drive is all I need to soak in the surroundings and dig into my roots.

The beauty of the sunset’s rays almost steal the show from the amateur country concert playing out in our car…

… almost.

We took a drive the other night – which has quickly become one of our favorite pastimes in the chaos and bizarre reality of the present times.

Opting for outside, for rolling expanses of farmland and sky.

Driving down country roads listening to soundtracks of summers before – singing along to old school country music, the likes of Tim McGraw, Kenny, Brooks & Dunn.

A country drive and sunset away to soak in some joy.

This drive was exactly that – and more. A trip down memory lane, a call back to times before drives were a means to an end – to a destination. Back to when a wide open summer evening with no agenda meant a family drive, country music, open windows, and – if we were lucky – a detour for ice cream.

Since then, drives have generally become out of necessity – to get from A to B, from here to there – increasingly so as the pace of modern life has picked up over time, as it tends to do. There are always people to see, places to be, and things to get done – one after the other, entries on a virtual calendar that is proof that time keeps ticking.

But over the past few months, something interesting has happened. The sprint of the world has halted to a jog and our collective pace has slowed down in some ways. Many things that used to take up so much of our time and energy have fallen along the wayside, either as a consequence of social distancing, directed health measures, or economic, health-related, or social changes.

… Resulting in fewer meetings, destinations, and entries on today’s to-do list…

Reminiscent of times long ago when there was no evening agenda – just a beautiful sunset and a country road calling our names.

So we went for a family country drive like back in the early 90s.

But this drive was special…

Mid-song I looked out the window to my right, attempting to tame my windblown hair, and I saw it – a bright, light, hot air balloon hovering above, picturesque in the summer sunset. A beacon for all scanning the sky for a glimpse of beauty and an orange sunset.

As we slowed the car to a stop off the side of the road, I tore my eyes away from the balloon, glancing instead out the car window at all the others who were doing the same. The families in their backyards, the couples in golf carts meandering along the roads that form the edge of suburbia and the beginning of the countryside, and the cars pulled off the road to stop and stare.

And we all watched.

All of us living in our own little worlds, in our own cars and yards – our new socially distanced normal.

On the road, maybe for the first time, with no destination in mind – with no goal but just to enjoy the moment. Not focused on where the road started or where it is going.

Just being present.

Enjoying the sights and sounds along the way.

Reminding us of the importance of stopping and pausing to take a look around.

… Because something beautiful and unexpected may be around the next curve – something that brings a smile to our faces and a shared moment of joy.

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