Thursday, November 17, 2011

Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Busses...and an Ipod

Normally, when I travel I am either in the driver’s seat or else I am helping with directions and passing fast food meals to my kids in the back seat. I enjoy driving for the most part. I like the act of driving, the maneuvering of the machine that goes where I instruct it to go with a simple push on the gas pedal or the turn of the steering wheel. When I was in college and had my first car, I loved zooming down city streets, beating other cars off the line, and challenging myself to make it to class a minute or two earlier than the day before. Nowadays, I take back roads to work. I don’t rush my commute, realizing a little caution is best, and I welcome the 30 minute commute that I have each day and the times when I occasionally make a solo trip across state to pick my daughter up for a college break. I sometimes drive in silence but more often than naught, I lose myself to the music on the stereo. I like my music loud so that it fills the entire car and pulsates my heart.

I don’t need to drive however, I often prefer to have another drive on long trips so I can relax my eyes and my head without the focus required for the road. Occasionally I have an opportunity to travel with a complete stranger at the helm. This summer my daughters and I traveled by train to a concert in Boston. Then this fall I got back on a plane for the first time in nearly 20 years to fly to Texas for a conference. Now today I am riding on a coach bus to New York City. On these trips I am not in the driver’s seat of course. But that is more than okay with me. I have anticipated today’s road trip all week; I am grateful to have an opportunity to sit and simply be.

I am still losing myself to music today though. With my headphones on, I am staring outside watching the trees fly past me in this window seat. My eyes close for awhile and the songs transport me away from this bus filled with 45 other passengers to my own place of complete solitude. The rumble of the bus lulls me to sleep, but as I begin to drift off, once again, my music is here with me.

There’s a freedom I feel as I hear only music, when I feel the sensation of flying as I watch the world go quickly past my window. My fingers turn up the volume and I soar higher as I drift off to sleep.

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