Imagine yourself driving on a three lane highway, not one single car behind and in front of you and the road spreading over miles and miles, as far your eyes can see. It is just you and the road…or maybe just you, because you…are the road.
Today’s Chautauqua raised as normal as the landscape around me. The 400 miles between La Cross and Sioux Falls already in South Dakota were the perfect provocation to go back to one of mine favorite topics; the road and our life.
Everything starts slow, the first miles on the interstate the driver is just trying to wake up and figure out how put all senses to work sharply, once that happen you feel left alone to decide how fast you want to go.
With no police in sight, full tank, cheap gasoline, good asphalt, let me ask you one simple question.
What would be your speed ?
Will you follow The one on the road sign or the one you knew you could easily do, driving safe and sound ?
Sounds like a simple question, but actually it is not, it is nothing but simple.
Let me give you an hint, to answer properly you should think about your own life.
Think about the “speed” society enforces you to “drive” since the day you were born. Think about your capacity (or incapacity) to question the “Road signs”. Can you figure out by yourself which ones to respect and follow and which ones were left alone forgotten or mistakenly placed?
The road is so full of metaphors and analogies with our physical life that I am pretty sure someone could write a book about it (probably there are already an handful of them). Some of this thoughts are so powerful that they keep coming back to me and today they follow me on the prairies.
It does slightly change the perspective if you are walking, driving or flying thou, today I will only talk about driving, let me share with you some takeaways:
a) In essence all cars are equal
whatever speed you decide to drive there is always a limitation for every single car. You can only go as long as the size of your deposit. When your car runs out of gas your trip stops and it ends there. Meaning that all cars are equal 🙂 from the most powerful to the most simple, they all need once in a while to refuel. Today I was very lucky, if was not driving with “captain America” I would have been in trouble. 4 miles away from trouble to be more precise….well…maybe Tesla is a bit different from the other cars 🙂
b) the road is for everyone, driving is not
when you are driving alone, your focus is on the road only, but when you have cars in front, on your side and behind you, the road itself is only a little part of the “Road”, you need to master the notion of distances, speed and space and to make things even more complicated, there are all sorts of sizes on the road and all sorts of drivers…very complex, just like in life.
c) to fully enjoy the road you should not drive alone
if you want to fully enjoy the scenery around you…you cannot drive alone, you can see a lot and enjoy a lot but you still need to look at the road ahead of you. If you have a driving partner by your side that you can trust, you can seat back, closer your eyes and rest or if you prefer look out of the window and loose your sight with magnificent details.
d) a detour is as good as a regular road
When we make plans (sometimes) we don’t like to change them easily, we kind of feel more comfortable following the map. Detours on the road can appear anytime without much notice. They usually are there to help us not to run into accidents, hazardous areas or just because someone forgot to that the sign away. But if you keep in mind that after a detour what matters is the journey…the detour becomes the main road and you should use the opportunity to see things were not initially on the plan.
Unfortunately many other analogies came and go from my mind….many more. Maybe you can think about new ones and share it here…it is up to you because the topic will never run out of exits to different destinations 🙂
Finally arrived in beautiful Sioux Falls, a special place where Indians (or should I say…the Americans) gather every year until they were kindly removed to close by reservation. The waterfalls are incredibly beautiful and inspiring…maybe tomorrow I will think about the connection of the water and river streams and our life.
Let’s continue to go west.