Remember Lightning McQueen from the Pixar movie, Cars? How he learned some life lessons and "life is a highway" played in the background of the show?
I was sitting at the Hinsdale Oasis on East I-294 outside Chicago a couple of days ago and this song popped into my mind. I was ruminating on the events of the previous half hour when I had dropped our son off for a camp that we believe will offer him some new opportunities and experiences. Yet, getting him to the drop-off point had involved some herculean efforts. As the camp bus drove north, and I drove south, I was aware of a plenum of emotions in my brain.
(Isn't plenum a juicy word? New to me -- it means the condition of being full, which my brain certainly was.)
I wrote: I am sitting above the highway right now. The cars and trucks coming toward me move under their own power. I have nothing to do with their forward movement, or lack of it. I have power only to move my own car forward as I drive. It is time to literally take my hands off the wheel of anyone else's car. Others are completely capable of driving their own cars.
Who knows? I cannot really imagine what comes next on anyone's path or drive. Oh, I can have a general idea. The cars and trucks below me are going to see more highway while they are on the highway, but that is about the extent of what I can really know.
Each person in a vehicle is I.
Each driver is listening to something, or not. Paying close attention to the road or having divided attention. Smoking, eating, drinking, hands on the wheel, driving with knees. Smelling different things and in varying intensities and degrees. Having a different experience of what the environment of their car feels like to them, caring more or less about how clean their car is. Hungry, tired, energized, excited. Running late. Feeling groovy.
Any driver might be feeling connected to God, or their Divine Source. May be feeling isolated, even if they are in a car with others.
I drive my car.
I don't drive anyone else's. I may have the opportunity to give directions to someone, but giving directions these days doesn't happen too much as we all have phones with gps or gps gadgets in our cars.
I drive my car.
I trust. I release. I am open to how my son chooses to "drive his car" during this upcoming opportunity. I gave him the best directions I could to get him to the jumping-off point that we believed would serve him and now I leave the rest of the journey in his hands. He is resourceful. He is capable. His smile lights up his face.
The cars heading east (toward me) are moving easily and quickly down the road. Those heading west right over there are moving very slowly. Just like us. Moving faster or slower. Sometimes, moving slowly in traffic is nice because it gives us more time to prepare or to think or to listen to a good story or the rest of a great song.
Slow isn't good or bad or better or worse; it's just slow. And slow only exists in relation to something else. There is no objective definition of slow. It is very much a perception. When we consider how fast objects move through space, the fastest thing on earth is moving slowly, but when we consider the pace of evolution, even the slowest thing I can imagine is moving along at a quite a clip.
Perception, perception, perception. There are those who would find the Hinsdale Oasis as a place for writing to feel unsafe because of the cars and trucks driving directly toward this spot. I find it energizing to be here, looking out at the traffic and realizing there is a connection to my experience.
What do you believe about driving your own car? About driving someone else's?
How freeing to realize that there are as many ways to do life as there are people in the world, as there are different cars and trucks passing underneath this spot where I am right now.