Just when you think your ‘en garde’ couldn’t be tweaked any higher, that inner voice of self-protection quietly but insistently calls for you to disengage from the anxiety and overwhelm of the world at large, and get back to being in your own moment.
Even if it’s only temporarily, you need to let your senses breathe their own reality in order to restore the part of you that must engage and endure what you cannot control or change in the short term.
I answered my ‘call’ yesterday with a drive down a side road outside the city. I’ve learned not to put a name on it when I’ve run out of mental road and need an open highway to get back to where I need to be inside myself. So I hopped in the car and took off, hoping for the brilliant overwhelm of fall foliage.
There were a few flashes of autumn color but it was mostly about the feeling of being free and open to whatever I might encounter, with a healthy blast of Santana along for the ride. Luckily, I found a great road that led to a lake – and a dinosaur! He was just feelin’ his full majestic papier mache-looking majesty surfing atop a still green looking lawn. I went all nerdy and jumped out of the car, putting on the flashers for pretty much no one, and took some pictures of him. Gotta go back and get some closeups, maybe even a selfie or two!
Back in the car, I saw an elderly man exit his yard and walk up the road toward me. Not the least put off by a stranger being in his ‘hood, he gave me a short list of the available sights. If I went left, I’d run out of road and have to double back for a few hundred feet of lakefront vistas. If I came back out and went the opposite direction of the way I came in, I’d catch some other waterfront sights on the way south. I chose both.
The first leg only lasted a few minutes but I got to see a beautiful sailboat making its way across the lake on a late fall afternoon. Not quite yet sunset, I then took the southern road the man mentioned and found a boat dock and fishing pier with a muddy parking pad to stop and take more pictures.
I sat in the car for a while longer. Santana wasn’t done yet. I watched the gulls and other birds swoop and celebrate their wings as they flew and dipped over the lake’s calm surface.
Calm. Yeah, I found myself celebrating that as well. I took a few more pictures. The pier, the old fisherman leaving with what looked like a big haul in his plastic bucket, the trees not yet turning colors. And the birds still dipping and clipping along the lake’s surface as the sun inched closer to the end of a perfect afternoon.
That’s my kind of road work. Off on a journey of faith with maybe a little desperation to find that inner connection with who you are or who you need to get back to being – no matter what the rest of the world is up to. Or down to.