An Open Letter to the Open Road

Image of Open Road

(c) Sten, Wikimedia Commons.


I always start out thinking: “Road trip: yes! For the next few hours I have you all to myself.”

I know where I’m going and that anything can happen on the way.

Looking ahead, you disappear into the horizon.

In the rearview, you shrink into a hazy vanishing point.

Sometimes I go weeks without seeing you and I almost forget what a good friend you’ve been to me. How you listen to me sing Pat Benatar (too loudly) and watch me eat Fritos and bean dip out of my lap (very messy), completely without judgment.

I chuckle at how many times you’ve watched from a short distance as I napped in a roadside parking lot.

Occasionally I feel guilty for being such a hypocrite — all full of anticipation and excitement in the first two hours, then growing quiet, and eventually irritated with you.

Do you remember that time – from Dallas to Sedona – when I swore I’d never spend that much time with you again, ever? I was furious at you. My mind and body were weary and broken from our 16 hours together.

Then I came back to you ten days later, not wanting to work it out but having no other choice.

And you were there.

Waiting.

Open.

Forgiving.

Disappearing beneath my tires without even a hint of a grudge.

Lately I notice your wisdom in keeping silent as I move through every possible emotional setting. Almost as if you are reminding me patiently with every yellow stripe that this, too, shall pass.

That in just one second the scenery changes and will never be the same again.

That no matter how many times I see you, every tree, every blade of grass, every gas station, is different from the last time.

For this lesson, I say “thank you.”

And I know I’ll be seeing you again soon, just in time for you to remind me.


Lisa ThumbnailLisa’s been taking lots of long drives since 2010, sometimes cursing and sometimes laughing. Know anyone who might enjoy this? Share it! Want new posts in your inbox? Sign up on the right sidebar. Want to send us a note? We’ve got the Twitters and the e-mail.

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