It turns out he drove in silence.
All I could say to this, being so full of all the wonderful things I knew, was “Oh.” But now, from a very different viewpoint, I can appreciate Terry’s response.
There are so many different priorities competing for my attention on any given day. There are You Should Have and You Could Have, fierce combatants with talons and long memories. There are the lists of things to remember and the lists of things to forget. There are the lunches to pack, the schedules to keep, the people to please. Time in the car is, so often, a chance to catch up – to finish that rosary or tuck in a Divine Mercy chaplet or make those calls I’ve been putting off.
I caught myself driving in silence today, with no “Baby Songs” blasting, no talk radio, no rosary in my hands, no cell phone on my ear, no passenger filling my car with conversation. What was that I was listening to? There was Terry O.’s voice: “I don’t listen to the radio.” There was a reminder to call Gordy and tell her happy birthday. There was the swoosh and crunch of my tires on the salt and ice mix. There was a thought I’d been meaning to get back to, about the lambs in the barn. There was the desire to go to Gran’s. There was a seed of worry, getting watered by that pesky What If voice in my head.
And then, just before I got there, was…what? What WAS that? It was a still, small voice, one I didn’t recognize. When I turned the spotlight of my attention on it, it didn’t seem to be there anymore. It was like the feel of cotton candy on my tongue – so sweet and strong, and yet, in a moment, gone.
I drive two hours + every day and the silence is often needed. It helps me prepare for the day and it helps me clear my head and heart so that I don’t allow any work stuff to affect the family.
I also do a lot of my writing during this silent drive time. Don’t fuss me!
I fully agree! So many times I find I am listening to the radio to fill time when driving. I listen to what I want, really, ignoring my kids in the back somewhat. But then I find myself dissatisfied (same with TV too), turn it off, and find myself buried in my thoughts, thankful for the blessing of a few moments of quiet before my oldest son points out another dumptruck.
Silent driving is almost meditative. Once you get past the *reminders* and self-criticisms, there is that inner voice that finally gets to speak.
Thanks for sharing!
Jim, HOW do you WRITE while you DRIVE? No, wait, maybe I don’t want to know…
Melissa, I know what you mean about filling time. And I have to remind myself that “filling” can be always better (like “Baby Songs” of course…*maniacal laughter*)