Some days are made for flying down the highway, windows cracked open just a little and the music on full blast. Some roads are made for stealing glances at the beautiful countryside passing by. And sometimes, these days and roads meet together while we are at the wheel, and we find ourselves rolling through the miles blessed, happy, full-up with an earthly joy and a hope that feeds us. It seems we possess for those few minutes both a plumb line pulling us forward and a rock solid foundation under our feet.
This was my situation this past July Sunday as I drove down US 88 West, headed for the smaller road that winds through the hills and valleys to Ithaca, New York, home to the conference I was to attend and many close colleagues of years gone by. It felt like a long overdue road trip, and when one travels alone, one can pick the songs, the audio books, the silence, the thoughts to have: such freedom!
So when I chose to push in the ABBA Gold CD and let her fly, I could tap my feet, sing along, look back, peek forward, or really, just enjoy the moment. Would that all times were so golden; would that such a carefree air could be bottled, and kept to breathe for any “troubled water” ahead. How can we capture that surety and hope against the unknowns of tomorrow?
After a fast two days of conferencing, enjoying the vast makeover of my former library, taking in Cornell’s handsome campus (yes, with gorges), and good times with great friends, I continued west to greater Chicagoland. This too afforded a full day of great roadtripping, and as the miles melted by on US 86W, the Ohio Turnpike, and the Indiana tollroad, Paul Simon, the Dixie Chicks and I barreled past the corn, soybeans, and finally the Gary steelworks, coming all the way “home” once more.
I don’t know whether it’s true or not, that saying that “you can’t go home again.” What I do know is that if I can keep even a small amount of the open road in my everyday life, that should help me remember we aren’t alone. Won’t we be given the strength to do what is needed, when we need it?
“Graceland, Graceland in Memphis Tennessee? …I’m goin’ to Graceland.”