Road to Now

November 16th, 2010

We were somewhere in Ohio when it happened. And I’ll admit, it caught me quite off guard; I wasn’t looking for it, or expecting it. It just happened.

Our family was on a road trip to a wonderful little place up state New York, a vacation we’d been looking forward to for some time and we just couldn’t wait to get there.

Now road trips these days with portable DVD players, vans with actual legroom and air-conditioning are far from my childhood memories; sweaty legs sticking to vinyl seats, wet towels hanging over windows and always having one brother’s knee and the other brother’s elbow in “my” space. However, for some reason the universal cry of thirst, hunger and “Are we there yet?” still echoes across the generations. And regardless of the extra space, (and I suspect they could even be in separate cars) someone is always touching someone.

Perhaps you may live by the golden rule “Love one another”, but in our family, it’s “Keep your hands to yourself.”

So, there we were coasting along some backroad when it hit me. I’m so glad I spotted it as it really could have passed me by as quickly as the cornfields. It was silent. It was ordinary. It was simple. All three children and husband were reading quietly. But for some reason I just happened to notice that I was completely and utterly happy.

Right there, in Ohio, on some old road I my never travel again. Who would’ve thought? How weird was that? I wasn’t doing the usual happy-inducing activities such as a enjoying a frozen margarita with the locals in a little Mexican village, nor having a good bowel movement, or even indulging in an afternoon nana-nap (yes, I’m a simple girl)….nope, I was just driving. Endlessly driving.

I sat there staring at the straight and endless road in front of me, knowing with absolute certainty that I did not want to be doing anything else with anybody else. And with complete clarity right there (somewhere) I knew that our vacation, as with life, was all about the journey. I didn’t have to wait to get there. There was already here.

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  1. Bernadette says:

    Sigh. I’m right there with you, Meg. Thanks for taking us all along for the ride.

  2. Meg says:

    Thanks, I just love those moments when I’m awake enough to feel true peace. :)

  3. Janet says:

    I’ve had two – yes, two – of those moments at work recently. How did THAT happen?!
    Seriously, though, it does seem to be about being awake and really in each moment as it unfolds, doesn’t it? Thanks for the reminder :-)

  4. Tammy says:

    I work in a Long Term Acute Care hospital…a few days ago one of our patients wanted to get a day pass…when his nurse asked the reason (to fill out the form), he said, “I just want to go home for a few hours and lay in my own bed and hold my wife.”  You can bet that night we all went home to our own beds and held our husbands all night long.  It is good to not overlook the perfectly happy moments :) 

  5. Joan Cook says:

    Just perfect, Meg.  Thank you.

  6. Beth says:

    I totally agree, Meg, though it sometimes takes grace to find that you are THERE.  When I conceived the idea of the Boomer Highway, I knew that the convergence of many paths, many roads that we sometimes are forced to travel would make it hard to just stare at ONE ROAD and feel good to be there. Right now I struggle not only with my mother’s dementia and aging, but with ill health that has worsened for my husband. But still I can focus on my three children and the roads they are on, hoping that the road for me and John will not be bumpy and that health will be our destination. Thanks, Beth@Boomer Highway 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thx for sharing :)

  8. Carli says:

    I love it when those moments creep up on us. So unexpected and joyous. So many people think to find joy in life you need something big. But it’s really the quiet, peaceful moments (like friving in the car) that are the best.

  9. Meg,  I’m going to remember this while my family visits Disneyworld next week.  I want to stay relax, stay in the moment and enjoy some wonderful quality time with my family.  My kids are getting big (almost 12 and almost 17), our family trips together are probably numbered.