Road Trips

Music is a means of time travel. But when I travel upon the wings of music, I take only what is necessary: the soul and the open mind. I leave the worries and personality behind and let myself go back in time to those days when the music first rang clear and new into my ears.

I am listening to Paul Simon right now. And so, naturally, I slip, slide, and away...


I am sitting in the back seat of my family's van as we head down the highway on summer break.

Holidays are a time for road trips, and so all my brothers and sisters climb into the vehicle, squishing into the seats and fighting for leg room. We've each packed one backpack. I've got four stuffed animals in mine. They take a bit of room, but I couldn't leave them behind.

As we leave the town, we feel like adventurers beginning a journey, for truly we are. We gaze now with resolute farewell upon the swing sets of our neighborhood playground, the fields where we would fly our kites, and the corner store where we would buy our nickel candy. We say goodbye to our elementary school, and we say goodbye to our friends, leaving the town in their care while we're gone.

We cheer as we break the city limits, and the farmland begins to roll on either side. The music is in harmony with our excitement, and we gaze out of the windows with feelings of purpose as the farms turn to trees and towering mountains.

We play travel bingo for candy to put our competitive energies to use, to avoid bickering in such close proximity. Every time we enter a town, we call out all the things we see on our silly bingo blocks.

Stopping at a rest stop, we would climb from our seats as if we were waking up for the first time; we'd stretch our legs and hop around the vehicle on the boulders and cement road barriers until it was time to continue.

We would travel, all eight of us, for twelve hours. From the north to the south. It was a journey, and it stood as the bookends to our summer holidays.

We would forget our northern lives and live with the ocean breeze, the southern rain, the big city smells and lights, the quiet serenity of the islands, and the endless adventure of the wild.

But time would come when we would return to our sheltered lives in our cozy, little haven of the north. When we returned, we would set tired eyes upon the familiar, we would feel a nostalgia as if we'd been gone for years. All the smells and sights that we had taken for granted would be brand new and invigorating.

Stepping into our friendly house, we'd wish to cherish the moment forever. It was exactly as we'd left it and yet it was different too; perhaps we saw it with new eyes. The carpet seemed darker than we'd remembered, the wooden railing on the stairs thinner, the walls a different shade, and the cat...

Tommy we called him. He would walk sleepily out of a dream to welcome us home, always the same, good old Tommy. I'm sure if we'd been allowed, we would've dropped our bags, left all the unpacking to our parents, and wrapped our arms around the entire house. And then we would play with the cat..for hours...sitting in the living room with our shoes still on...

The End

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