Friday, August 20, 2010

The Slow Lane

I had to go and buy a baby gift for a baby shower; I also had offered to go to the "Duck" store (Oregon Duck's for those of you who don't know), because the "theme" of the shower is "Oregon Duck's" and my friend needed some "stuff" for the top of the cake. To accomplish these goals, I had to go to...the mall.

Those of you who know me well, know that I abhor the mall; too many people, too many noises, too much consumerism.
So I did what I had to do, made a couple of other stops and headed home.

I hadn't realized until I was "leaving town" that I had been anxious and agitated; it wasn't something I'd noticed or even felt; until I was leaving the city behind.

I turned on to the country lane that headed out of town, and my tension literally lifted; I felt softer somehow; lighter.
As I traveled on, the flicker of sunlight through the trees seemed to be beating the tension out of my mind and out of my heart, one filtering branch at a time.
Each winding curve pulling me further and further away from the organized chaos; lulling me back into myself, where I could think and breathe once again; the whir of the tires on the blacktop coaxing me back from my self-induced coma.

Crossing the river, the water seemed to carry my troubles oceanward; swiftly and steadily soothing my visual senses, harassed by the concrete jungle.
I turned onto our gravel road, safely home again, healed from the hustle and bustle of city madness; I reminisced about another gravel road, and a dear friend I had to leave behind in one of the many places I've been privileged to live in.

My friend would tease me, because of my love for dirt roads; not the "off road" kind of dirt road, but the "way out in the toolies" kind of dirt road; you know, with battered and weather beaten mailboxes and quail skittering ahead.
"Dirt roads are dusty" she'd say, and I knew that well enough; but dirt roads also mean solitude, serenity and a removal from civilization; peaceful places are usually at the end of a dirt road.

It's a slow life, living on a dirt road; a life measured by the season's, not the sales; by the rising and setting of the sun, not the alarm clock; by the heart, and the heart alone; a life I treasure one day at a time.