Someone wise once told me that if you want to have a difficult conversation with your child, take him for a drive.
Over decades, clocking countless hours, one boy and then another would load into the womb of our SUV and we’d wind through the canyons while I waited quietly until all the guarded and disfigured thoughts would begin to spill out.
My eyes fixed on the road, made room for little minds to turn inward from the unfiltered, overwhelming of childhood—for sorting through the word pictures of tiny torments, for clicking through and ordering the images outside of the intensity, even inadvertent judgement of my dark brown eyes.
Sometimes we search for our validity in the sweetness of someone else’s gaze. And sometimes, in preservation of our own invisible story, we are compelled to look away.
These days, despite an initial and seemingly inherent battle-cry response, I’ve become more introspective about what the news may bring. I’ve reverted to the Mommy years and how we solved life’s problems not in the span of sixty-seconds but mile after mile. My afternoons are enveloped in a white Jeep named, Blanche, nestled in next to a calm familiar face and we head out to find answers or at least a distant peace.
[I admit like a sacred secret… there have been times over these past months that my own curious predicament has cultivated this exquisite picture of my last few moments driving through the mountains, my hands reaching upward, the rush of wind in my face.]
For now, I intertwine my fingers into the driver’s and trust that behind the Ray-Bans, those blue eyes I have fallen into for as long as I can remember are there when my quiet spirit is ready for the full-force impact of their stare—
Eye contact is as much indictment as affirmation—we are all desperately seeking some small glint of “everything’s going to be all right” refracted there.
I’m not certain where we’re heading or what we’re leaving behind, but the movement of body in space promotes this feeling that progress is being made. Are we making any progress, God? You’ve probably asked that question yourself a hundred times.
Trees pass, deer pass, houses pass and still this sense of heartbreak and glory collide.
We are projected full force into the chasm of an endless Universe, so many infinite possibilities with such finite minds.
My biggest fear through all of what we are collectively enduring is that we will lose our joy. And with that loss a generation of little minds will forget how to imagine, discover, create.
The stationary mind, like wheels on the break, refuses to reinvent but instead goes round and round. What is blocking us from propelling forward? Is it grief or disbelief?
I fix my eyes not on the road but somewhere through the forest to the endless microcosm hidden within the pines. There, the secrets are as vast as those hidden within a quiet boy working it out and through in the safety of a mother’s love and the gentle rocking of a leather bucket seat.
Like him, I cry out to the only One I can trust to put the pieces of my life right.
Yet even my most magnificent prayer could never utter what the soul yearns to say.
And so, I go for a drive. To find Him…or maybe me.