20 March 2021
Driving Into Sunrise
Dust in my shoes. I've pondered this need to move, to pick up stakes, and never plant myself like a tree in one place, more than a few times. What is this?
Did it begin during our family trips across the country that always ended in California? Each summer a different route. First in a tent all the way, sometimes stopping in a farmer's field, plus the occasional campground.
Not so many back in the day. Not like now. Everywhere campgrounds and everything, for a price.
Did those early travelings prick me with a syringe-filled fluid of constant movement? Is always being on the road an addiction, or an engine that never shuts down, but rather has idle moments. Once the engine engages is there no point of stopped movement? Is there always fuel waiting to fill that almost empty tank?
Was it the vast seemingly never-ending desolate desert, or the mountains, never knowing what might come around the bend, or the golden waving grain, blown by the rushed wind. Which bite of those moments sunk its teeth into my skin, piercing my soul, itching my body to travel, to push the horizon, cruising at full speed into each and every sunrise with the same urgent gaze.
Driving into sunrise shooting those moments, riding the road less traveled, finding those odd stretches of America most people do not stop and wander about. No, they beat the speed limit hoping to make it home before sunset.
No matter how permanent each living space seemed, there was always a tent in the closet or the trunk. Pouring over maps of any state of travel consumed free time like holidays gave others a respite from the everyday rituals of living. The road was never far away.
Sometimes I stopped when the road was a ghost, got out of my car, and just looked up and inhaled the Milky Way with bright eyes. There is no joy as happy as knowing our galaxy is nothing but a pinpoint in the universe. I'd raise my arms to the night and beg for ascension into the stars.
Then there were roads where the rain ahead looked so terrible I'd never want to ride my Honda Shadow ever again. 60 miles per hour rain is cold as ice in the summer of New Mexico. There is no shelter in the desert.
Eventually, the packed suitcase, the shoulder bag, and the bathroom kit became more of a burden and less of a secure and safely impermanent standard of this tumbleweed life. Even in the permanence of a house in the country, I needed to walk the morning, watch the darkness release its night coat, and surrender to each sunrise.
The meditation of this ritual gave me that wandering relief. Being out in the wild breathed its own kind of life into a long-traveled spirit. The constant thrum of this practice enriched my life in the same way the hum of wheels over the road soothed the vibrating motorcycle of existence.
I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.