A Soothing Portal
I believe that driving with the windows down contains deeper meaning than simply a fresh breeze. As I roll ‘em down, I’m declaring my need to feel connected to the world, not be a passive viewer. When confined in a vehicle with all the windows shut, I am miserable, caged like a zoo animal. But strangely, I also become an animal with the windows down; when my head is out the window, it closely resembles that of a dog. In an age where we are drifting away from reality because of stressful jobs or technology, I snap back into the moment during what would normally be a boring commute. It’s more than a simple pleasure though; it is reflective of how I attempt to return a bit of humanity to a fast paced life. Many pleasures are bought, but this one is completely free, and can be enjoyed by anyone; race, ethnicity, and religion are ignored. It makes no difference if you are cruising in that Mercedes you got on My Super Sweet Sixteen or clunking around in grandma’s Oldsmobile with rusted seams.
For this experience, my humble Toyota Camry is my medium. It’s not exactly a temple, but it is the location of most of my spiritual awakenings, if a seventeen year old is even capable of having a spiritual awakening. And for some reason, this ritual is always accompanied by music, but no music in particular. Rap, punk, techno, and even oldies emanate from my car, as it is the backdrop to my daydream. The weather doesn’t matter either. From the bitter cold to the torrid heat, the value of that open portal is constant. The convergence of all these factors occurs on the way home from school on those first days of spring. The freedom from a long school day, coupled with the music and the spring air creates an idyllic setting that cannot be matched. I’m not asserting that it will solve world hunger or prevent wars, but it makes me just a little happier.
Some people meditate, some go camping, I take a drive with the breeze, the perfect passenger. If any human passengers are involved, conversation is promptly ignored in favor of the wind that fills the cabin. Here’s a toast to that urge that lurks in all of us to circle the Burger King parking lot with the windows down and the system up. Because I believe its therapy. In conclusion. Take a drive. Roll the windows down.