One thing an almost hour long commute to work will do is provide time to think. I’ve been told I think too much which I don’t think is possible to do. In any case, driving for that length of time and needing to stay alert and not distracted means I concentrate on the road. Sometimes that also means my thoughts wander and its very much stream of consciousness in its flow.
Contented images of life with my new hubby may be followed by snippets of conversations with my late folks and then a gag reel of funny family moments. There is a moment of sadness in the knowledge that they never met my love before they passed. This might then be followed up by time spent with my now teenage niece and nephew who miss their grandparents daily. Then there is a dark shadow flashing with the look on their faces when they saw the bruising from an assault by an ex boyfriend, and how they had a similar look years earlier when I told them that my ex husband, the first Uncle they knew, and I were divorcing.
These memories and experiences are more than just emotions crossing my mind. These are images and movies playing out in snippets. In my head I see lines arcing from one moment to the next, connecting them, stringing them together, like when you mark a map with pin and twine to show your travel route. And really, hasn’t this been my journey? Certainly not in a straight line as they criss-cross and could easily appear jumbled and nonsensical to anyone else. But these thoughts, they are my history and my story. They’re the map of my life, my relationships, my mistakes, accomplishments, loves and losses, and lessons. These are my pins and twine mapping where I’ve been which is all over the map.
Its alright if folks say I think too much. I know that this process is hard wired in me and I relish it, even though there are times when it feels like more of a burden than a gift. In these times of commuting and communing with my memories, discoveries have been made about myself and others. There’s been healing and there have been tears. Regrets about not listening to my instincts and the damage it did or the pain it caused has reinforced my will to not refuse my gut’s wisdom again. There have been moments of release, letting go of anger, saying out loud and alone in my car what I can’t say out loud in front of others. Prayers have gone up and promises have been made to myself. A lot of acceptance of who I am has also happened.
And as the commute closes in on that final few miles before the office, before the much needed stretch while stepping out of the car, though I’m not Catholic or superstitious, I cross myself. Spectacles, testicles, wallet, and watch. Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The road I’m on is long and its not an easy ride. Sweet Baby Jesus I need you today.