Monday, August 29, 2011

Turning off the autopilot

The drive home from my parents is about two hours, and it follows a stretch of highway not known for being particularly interesting.  I have driven that road countless times in my life, and I can't really say that I've ever felt particularly struck by the beautiful scenery or elegant fields that form the landscape of southwestern Ontario.

Except today.

I hit that cruise control button, and I prepared for the long drive ahead, and it came to me, how many times have I ridden this stretch of highway with my mind also on autopilot?  Today, for the first time I can remember, I found myself looking up at the blue sky and watching as tiny white clouds formed from the morning mist and free-flying hawks soared on the breeze far above the coffee-drinking travelers on the road beneath them.

Today, I took the time to look around at the fields of corn and soy beans, at the random trees that line the fences between those fields, at the occasional stretches of forest with their solid walls of green -- but not just one kind of green mind you, all the shades of green that you can possibly think of are found in the thousands of leaves that make up those trees.

And I realized just how much I love the color green.  I looked around, and my soul drank in the view.  My lungs inhaled the smell of summer as it flowed through the air vents of my van.

You know the smell I mean, the one that you breathe in as you first pull into that campground where you've decided to take a few measly days of break from the fast-pace of life, that smell of campfires, and trees, and grass, and dirt, and lake water, the one you get only glimpses of when you return to the city, like when you're at a park or in your backyard and your neighbour decides to have a fire in his backyard firepit, and then you silently curse him for reminding you of how badly you'd love to be back tucked away in that forest again, spending long days in the sun on the beach and long evenings around the campfire with marshmallows and pie irons and glasses of wine and great conversations with beloved family and friends.

But at the same time, my lungs are grateful for the chance to take in a deep breath of that calming scent, to breath in that gentle reminder of more peaceful locales, and relive for a few brief minutes those moments I find myself waiting all year for.

Oh, I am so not looking forward to Fall.

1 comment:

Angela said...

oh, how we are kindred spirits

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