Saturday, February 6, 2010

From Where I Sit ~ Traveling Mercies

Traveling Mercies

The view from where I sit is changing today—from my perch overlooking the Bay to the landscape of the great Midwest as my husband and I travel south to warmer climes.

I look forward to this view. It is one of sitting and pondering and appreciating what passes by. Even though the pace of my life on a day-to-day basis is lived fairly slowly (by conscious choice), there is something very different about being a passenger in a car for hours on end just watching the scenery. 

When we did this trip last year I often felt like a child, seeing the terrain through eyes of wonder. The landscape would shift, from flat to hilly to mountainous—then to flat again—depending on what state we were in. When we got out of the car for rest stops the people had changed too. Their demeanor, the cadence of their voices withunique accents, all lent themselves to this wide-eyed wonder. 

I also experienced wonder about how different we are, yet how much the same, too. We all want the same things—creature comforts, happiness, love, good health, gainful employment, joy ... We want to be treated well, respected, appreciated.

So when we drive, I gobble up the scenery, and savor the trees, flowers, and creatures, all so different than those from where I usually sit. I try to purvey that open-hearted friendliness Midwesterners are known for. If you talk long enough to a Midwesterner, they're bound to find someone that you both know or who knows someone you know. We're funny that way. We keep talking until we make an intimate connection. Six degrees of separation ... 

I take a little notebook with me and jot down memorable things. Though I can't get too engrossed in  my ponderings because I am also the navigator (map reader) and the sentry for potholes and boulders, as my dear hubbie has sometimes missed those. Very expensive!

My growing edge is not to be a back seat driver. I sometimes do that. A bad habit, I think, from all my days as a single mom when I was always on the lookout for my children's safety. My beloved reminds me to sit back, relax, and enjoy. To trust his driving. For he is an excellent driver after all—never had an accident in 45 years of driving. But what about that boulder, I think to myself? 

There will always be boulders and potholes in life. You just can't get away from those. But why make such a big deal about them? You may hit them—or not. Why worry? Life seems like a crap shoot a lot of the time. What happens does, what doesn't doesn't.

Why not take his advice? Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Life from wherever we sit is pretty darn amazing. don't you agree?

Traveling mercies upon all of you, wherever you find yourself this week! I'll be in touch.


LovesCompanion said...

Dear Jan,
this blog had me thinking of last night when my sweetie was enjoying spinning his 4 wheel drive in the snow and I was nervous. It makes me think how sometimes I can be so cautious to live freely and I'm still learning how to Trust more and simply enjoy the Ride! ;) Thanks for this lovely post! hugs, Jenn

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jan .. hope you've had a great trip and you're there, almost there by now - such large distances.

Loved the way you described the changes you're making .. the scenery, the people, the fact you're no longer the driving boss, and that essential a little notebook - I used mine today in the car .. notes in all directions in this house - full of thoughts and ideas!

See you Monday! Go well and just enjoy the warmth when you arrive - sounds like you made the best choice and I hope you miss that white stuff ... Hilary

Cheryl Wright said...

Traveling mercies to you Jan and an alert mind and razor-sharp vision to Brad.

Deborah Carr said...

I am also the navigator - mostly because my attention tends to wander to the passing scenery.

It's just lovely not to have to travel alone, isn't it?

Jan said...

Oh, I remember when my son used to do those maneuvers and it would scare me to death! Yes, may we all let go a little more and trust the ride and the ultimate Navigator!

Yes, we are missing the white stuff, thankfully! And now, about 1/3 of the way there. Tomorrow Great Smoky mountains! May your travels go well too and just down plenty of happy noticings in that notebook. Yes, check in tomorrow regarding your Challenge. I will be here as long as we have Wi-Fi! Blessings!

Jan said...

Thank you, Cheryl. Brad's vision appears to ever more clear, esp. since an additional bout of lasery surgery. :-) I AM able to relax a bit more. xo

Welcome, navigator. :-) Yes, traveling is most lovely with another, though I have not minded traveling alone on occasion. My life has been very full over the years, esp. with children, so if I do get to travel alone now and then, I enjoy the solitude and quiet. And my trusty journal. Thank you for your kindred comment. :-)

Kel said...

a lovely reflection on the road trip of summer (and life)

how many kilometres are you covering to get there, over how many days on the road?

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

Oh I just love this, Jan! First of all, enjoy your time away.

Your message comes at a perfect time --- "me talking to me" as it were. I found myself on the brink of getting anxious about something (scheduling, of all things!). This morning I was able to remind myself that it's only as important as I make it out to be. If something doesn't get scheduled properly or takes more work than "normal," that's just fine. It is what it is, and I can laugh about it!

Funny how easy it is to make mountains out of molehills.

wifsie said...

I tend to tense up when I'm not driving. Why is it difficult to trust? Because we like being in control? Guess so. You're right, enjoy the ride and make the most of your stay in milder climates.
Love to you!

Michelle said...

A timely reminder to slow down and enJOY the view, Jan. Thank You. I, too, find great pleasure in watching the world and, although I am not travelling, I've especially noticed little Moments of JOY in my neighbourhood ~ the little girl dressed in green pants, carrying her woven basket adorned with raffia flowers, skipping through the supermarket, with her dad.
Travelling more slowly through life does allow me to experience beautiful Moments.
Thanks, again, for the reconnection.

mermaid said...

I can't comment on Awake Is Good. Not sure why. Maybe some site trouble.

I love your revelations of your inner terrain as you explore the outer terrain. Lovely metaphor. Sometimes jagged, sometimes smooth, sometimes friendly, sometimes scary.

Rest well and enjoy the ocean, dear Jan.

Jan said...

Hi Kel,
Well, we have arrived, finally! We started out on Saturday, had to make 2 stops in 2 different cities to attend to kids, then off. Approx. 1500 miles from top of U.S. to bottom. It actually took us about 3 days of driving all day. Glad to be settled. Now I can begin to pen posts using all the beautiful nature metaphors for the life journey I am finding here in the south....

I think driving is just one very small example of how we struggle to stay in control of so many situations in life. In fact, control may be our M.O. That's a hint that perhaps it is time to get more comfortable with :-)

Jan said...

I love going slow and though I have been "forced" to because of health issues over the years (head injury, primarily), I have deepened my experience and perceptions of life considerably. Plus, for a writer, it allows us to see so much more to write about! Love your image of the little girl. :-) A keeper!

Perhaps the AIG glitch is past. I just posted and all seems to be well. (Thanks!) I'll be looking forward to much writing oceanside and allow nature's elements to teach. :-)

Sharon said...

I love this post and the vision of you and your husband heading off across the country. You sound as if you have thrown off the shackles of winter to head into the sun. I love that!

Soak up some warmth for those of us still in winter. I look forward to what you have to share from where you sit in the sun.

Lindsey said...

I really love the sentiments you express regarding innate holiness and spirituality. These are the guiding tenets of my life but I have never expressed it before. You put my feelings into words!
Lindsey Petersen

Lisa said...

have a wonderful trip down, looking forward to hearing about your soul-replenishment time...