Traveling less traveled (or maybe more traveled) places…
I’ve been getting to work a little bit later than I’m used to the last couple mornings. I’ve discovered that I can avoid getting irritated at the drivers on the interstate if I (now get this) avoid the interstate. It isn’t something that I will likely do most days for my evening commute (it adds MORE time going home for some reason) but I think I’m going to start doing this for my morning commute.
It adds about 10 minutes to my commute. That’s because I can max out my speed at 40 MPH (5 over the posted 35) and spend half the commute at 30 and there are dozens and dozens of lights. But the commuters sharing this route with me seem to be of the same mind-set that I am. I am not in a hairy ass hurry to get there as long as I get there by starting time and it is better for my attitude if I mozy instead of getting run off the road by anal retentive idiots.
The commute takes me through communities. One, I think, is an Irish neighborhood, based on the bars that I pass. It passes the zoo. Churches, small neighborhood stores and kids on their way to school dot the way. I’m not sure if it is part of the attraction of my commute. I think it probably is.
I never really connected with Austin. I enjoyed things greatly about it. I will miss being able to go to Eeyore’s birthday. I will miss my first half marathon. I will miss the Labyrinth. People already have added to that list. I had friends (Scotty and Andrew… you are my Tin Man and my Scarecrow) that I miss.
My little boy I miss tremendously. I miss driving him into Austin. I miss the conversations that I’m sure that he never thought I listened to or took anything away from. I look at windows I pass… I lose myself in the windows I pass… I hear his voice echoing in my brain. I connected, most, to Austin through my baby boy.
He stayed behind to follow his heart. I understand that. It doesn’t make me miss him less, but it does fill me with pride and I love the young man that he has fallen in love with. Eventually I hope HE will talk to me, too. He has a job that he thinks he likes. He’s not the first garbage collector on the moon, but he is finding himself and he is realizing that he does have his roots and his wings.
I think about him a lot as I drive this route. There is much to see, much imput to absorb.
As much as I never really felt connected to Austin, I find myself connected here. It feels like home. Adam was not entirely right but not far off the mark. I could live in the middle of nowhere in the forest in a cabin with a creek if I had a good wifi connection. But I feel the heartbeat of this city. I lose myself in the doors (my version of Adam’s windows) and the architecture. I long to walk the streets of “down town” looking at the beautiful buildings that might be less well-kept than the shiny steel and glass of Austin but that have incredible character. You can almost hear the voices that have made this city home.
I lose myself in thought. I think about the conversations at Minntac… “you will look back with regret and you will someday ask what if”… Except I don’t regret. I would not be sitting where I am now if I hadn’t followed the path I took and learned what I learned. I wouldn’t be flexing my wings, yet again, and reinventing myself as I go.
My commute to here… to work… through life… is my commute and I am finding peace and quiet and connectedness. It is what it is. Today is what I have and what I have to do I have to do. Tomorrow will be my next today but for now, what I must do is the near..
Be the Best of Whatever You Are
If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley — but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass —
But the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here,
There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.
If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail —
Be the best of whatever you are!
I know that my view may not be the most popular. I know that everyone is supposed to strive to be what society views as a success. But… the older I get and the more I learn… the more I realize that I may not be a bass, but I think I might be the best little scrub I can be… and if I can encourage my babies to be the best bush/bass/bit of the grass that they can be… then I hope that they might be happy in themselves.