I drove off for a number of reasons. I think the most prevalent of which is John Steinbeck. His words must have seeped into my ears. I felt that familiar pain of wanderlust in my heart and I knew that opportunities to satisfy these itches will rarely come without the will to seize them in my grip. He puts it best.
“They (men) trade their violence for the promise of a small increase of life span. In effect, the head of the house becomes the youngest child. And I have searched myself for this possibility with a kind of horror. For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage.” -Travels with Charley
I know that I want to be a man whose life can be filled with constructs made of his own will. I want to set my mind to things, great and small, and CREATE! with my hands and will. I have been operating a fairly frenetic pace, juggling work, school, and church for some time, and I wanted to remind myself that it will not be this same dance forever. I can carve time and projects for myself. With this, I departed.
The excitement of the open road is something that is not yet lost on my. It thrills me and has me shouting in my car on the highways. There is an endless possibility in the road, and I don’t take it for granted. It is a beautiful thing to cross over state lines, see the foliage change, and wake up in the trunk of your car in a state you’ve never woken up in. It’s a different experience to brush your teeth in a rest stop bathroom, next to fathers who watch you enviously before returning to their station wagons and winnebagos.
It’s a special feeling to see colors brighten when you cross into Maryland and Virginia, there’s something magical about the way mist hangs over the fields in North Carolina. I was reminded of how much I love this country, and how blessed I am to live in it. I was reminded of the ways rural poverty is different from urban poverty. This land is filled with such gentle beauty, I’m grieved to think of how much blood was shed on the soil for the sake of greed and selfishness.
The road was long and most of the time, driving became more of a chore than a joy. It was mostly lonely and fueled by fried chicken and coffee, but it was good. There come times for a man to set his mind to something big, and to do it. I could not compromise on my destination of Myrtle Beach. I was glad I didn’t.
The air was humid. Everything I wore became damp and full of sand. My matches wouldn’t light. The horseflies were out. But I could hear the waves crash. I could feel the warm water under my feet and on my skin for a thousand miles. It was worth it.