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The Beauty of Car Rides

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When I was six years old, I hated car rides. To a six year old, a car ride was the epitome of boredom. There was nothing to do on a car ride except sit there for hours watching the trees. I would get carsick every single time I was in my mom's Volvo. If I wasn't sick or bored, I was waiting painfully in the backseat for the next exit ramp so my mom could turn off the road for a bathroom break. My mom would have to bribe me with candy or some other special treat just to get me in a car everyday. Some six year olds were afraid of monsters and doctor's visits; I was afraid of the car. About ten years later something happened, a change. When I finally got my driver's license at age sixteen, I was no longer afraid of the once dreaded car ride.

At first I did not know why or how it happened, I just was not afraid anymore. I did not get bored, I did not get sick, and I did not have to painfully wait to use the bathroom. What was once a time of fear and unease turned to a time of tranquility and delight. I was excited to drive my car, and I felt good while driving. Maybe it was because the music I was listening to calmed me. Perhaps it was the beautiful sights I saw outside my window. It could have been because it was a time when I got to leave my troubles behind me and relax. It may have been that I was driving the car rather someone else, or it could have been a combination of all of these things. All I knew was that I had a 35-minute drive to school everyday, and I enjoyed it.

My drive to and from school everyday became a deep Emersonian experience. It was not so much that I was getting in touch with nature; it was that I was getting in touch with myself. As soon as I silenced out the traffic and other hubbub with my music, my car became its own little world. In my world I could choose my music, choose the speed, decide what to think about, control the temperature, reflect, relax, or do anything else that I wanted to do. For 35-minutes, I became the king of my own little world.



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