Sunday, October 8th, 2017


My soul sings! My soul still sings. It hasn’t in a long long time.

I hate driving anywhere, anytime. I know why. I write about it in my book I PRAY ANYWAY: Devotions for the Ambivalent. Knowing why doesn’t always supply the cure.

Yesterday, I drove to Rangely, Maine to the ‘country’ place of our family. It had been a long time since I had driven it and I was unsure about the route. And nervous or not, I’m not good at following Google maps and my car is to old to talk to me.

Starting late, I set out. I was determined to enjoy the trip. It was the penultimate New England day in Maine. The minute I left the main highway and turned onto the first single lane road and saw the puffs of ridiculously bright leaved trees, I was stunned into a beauty halo.. Just like that. Bingo. No more nervous. No more worried about time. No more concern about weird car sound on deserted roads. Wow. I know the word for it. Glory. I floated on a kind of carbonated contentment. For two and a half hours.

Car solitude–no news–no other task but to drive–no talking–no thinking.  Suspended in beauty. I instinctively followed an old old route I used to take that avoided ugly. I followed my intuition about where to turn. My body remembered. There was no wrong turn.

The beauty of a winding single lane road through strsight tall black green pine trees rounded out with the clouds of Maple and Oak leaves that left me searching for words to describe the colors–yellow rose, burgundy with a touch of orange, Halloween orange with tinges of magenta and pink. Lots of pink. Really. Lots of pink.

The comfort of both modest and grand houses, tidy and cared for soothed me. Dilapidated and deserted house were rare and carried their own kind of beauty of faded paint and windows without glass. So many stone walls. So many hands that touched each stone and put it in its place.

Farms. Real farms. On rolling hills with dirt roads winding their was out of sight. Cattle. Cows licking their calves. Road side stands with apples and pumpkins–just leave the money. No monitoring needed. I was reminded of a cross stitch sampler I made for a New England love of mine while I still lived in the Midwest. Soft mountains, steepled churches, furrowed fields, trees with red apples. I thought it was exaggerated. No, I drove through it yesterday.

Now I picked a special route. I needed beauty and homely stability. I needed single lane roads. I wanted to drive through hope. And when I did, my soul sang. I felt the lifting, the joy, the awesome moment of perfection in life. Want to laugh? I responded by whistling. I never whistle. Didn’t know I could. I whistled hymns, symphony beginnings and (this is where you really laugh) Woody Woodpecker song. Then sang my soul. Then sang my soul.



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