I’ve heard we’re in for a harsher winter than last year, but this shift in temperatures is so welcome right now, I’m hardly concerned. It’s funny, the summer was not particularly brutal, but I always find myself ready when a change is on the horizon. I love fall when it comes. Winter is the same. I’m excited for Spring. When Summer comes back around, it will be like the welcome of an old, lost friend. We slept with windows open this week. I love this feeling when outside is acceptable for inside.
You hear the crickets and cicadas. You feel the shifts in wind. You hear the leaves brushing against themselves. From your comfortable bed, you can close your eyes and imagine you’re in a field of grain or a heavy forest or some other idealized nature scene. I know for many, waking up in the middle of the night, cracking your eyes, and seeing stars and branches fluttering above is a little too rustic, but for me, I’d roll over and expect to wake up in heaven.
I’ve logged a great deal of time on the road this week. In the middle of the week, I drove to Nashville, picking up my friend Steven in Jackson who was having car difficulties. We were on a team writing curriculum for camps in 2016. This weekend, I traveled with Allyson to St. Louis to meet up with family to accompany my niece to her first major league baseball game. Lots of time on Interstates. Several major cities. Several major waterways.
I have a sort of love/hate relationship with road trips. I love to travel. I seriously think I could go long stretches without a house or apartment, just hoping from town to town, constantly seeing something new. I enjoy that progression of seeing the interstate signs declaring the cities you’ve reached. I love it when I new major city begins to show up on the mileage signs. But, I’m put out with our country’s addiction to gas. I hate that there are many cool places in the states that I can only get to if I drive, and I’m not just talking about hole in the wall places. I hate the stiffness in your body after a long drive. I get tired of having to look straight ahead and give so much attention to staying on the road for hours and the danger that’s attached to that and anyone else on the road who might be too tired or impaired or interested in facebook. But, I can’t deny my nostalgic attachment to the idea of hoping in your ride and trekking across the country.
I spent so much time this week discussing, planning, looking at screens, staring out a window at yellow lines. When I get an overload of that, I need to get back to something primitive. I need to feel the natural world. I need to walk and move myself from one place to another. I want to feel life with my five senses. At our lodging this week, the air conditioners broke down and everyone was moved to another building. I stayed in my original room, though. I wasn’t using the air conditioner anyway. The windows were open, and I fell asleep feeling the changes in the wind. I woke up as Nashville did. This week was slammed packed with one thing after another, which it needed to be this week. I needed to work. I needed to turn in school work. I needed to see my family, and it was all good experiences. But, when you don’t take enough time to breathe, you forget a lot of it. Waking up hearing the crickets and the breeze, a messenger sent from Fall, I knew I’d remember that.