The Freedom of Four Wheels

Cartoon Car by Cassius

Cartoon Car by Cassius

“Not all those who wander are lost.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Something fabulous happened late last week.

I drove a car. All on my own.

Yeah, you might be thinking. No biggie. But actually, for me, it was.

I haven’t really driven a car since November 2012 when my health took a turn for the worse. Problems with my heart. Problems with my eyes. Problems with my concentration and reflexes and spatial knowledge. It became untenable for me to drive.

I’ve had to rely on my husband or friends to take me places. Mostly though, I just haven’t gone anywhere. My world shrank small. Honestly, while I was so sick it didn’t seem to matter. Public transport wasn’t an option either. I had no strength to walk long distances or to wait around when I could have been home in bed.

A few weeks ago I began to notice a positive shift in my health after months of horrible uselessness. More energy, more alertness, better reflexes, eyes that mostly work. I received the okay from my doctors. I could try driving again.

For my first outing I drove the short distance to a local coffee haunt at six in the morning, my husband beside me. There was not a car on the road and I felt like a teenager under the watchful eye of their father. I was nervous but excited. Oh, the sensation of freedom! The joy of four wheels! What a rush!

freedom-quotes-sould-quotes-Freedom-is-the-oxygen-of-the-soul.

This past weekend I drove from my farm to Brisbane, a two-hour trip, with Bert the dog for company. I have my independence back. I was able to go back to work. I could head out to the store when I needed something. I drove across town to meet up with friends for breakfast. I took myself to my own doctors’ appointments. And last night I drove myself home to the farm. Hooray! I’m sustainable again. I can look after myself. I can drive.

On the last few miles of our trip last night, as we travelled down the winding narrow country roads that lead to our farm, I put the windows down. Bert and stuck our heads out the windows and sucked in lungfuls of clean cold farm-scented air, and I got why dogs find car rides so thrilling.

There is something quite empowering about being able to drive, about jumping in your car and going wherever you want, whenever you want. I’d never realised the importance of that freedom, that liberty. My car is nothing less than a magic carpet.

Makes me wonder where else I might dare to go…

Image from

Image from Justin Perricone

Photo by Ollie Craford. Lyrics by Defiance, Ohio.

25 thoughts on “The Freedom of Four Wheels

  1. This is a great story Nicole – so pleased that you have your driving freedom back and that you are well enough to take advantage of it. xox

  2. Huzzah! So happy for you. As I grew up, my Nana would tell me the same thing about getting her licence (eventually against her husband’s wishes) and how much freedom (and no more carrying groceries on the bus) it gave her. So glad you have your independence back!

  3. Wonderful news; well done on your massive resilience. Did you check if Bert had his eyes closed during the Brisbane trip 🙂
    Hugs X

  4. So very thrilled for you Nicole , so much we take for granted. Enjoy your new found freedom and improved health hip hip horray for you xxxx

  5. Yes yes Nicole! I get that. Everyday I thank the universe for my car and the ability to get out of bed and walk or drive! Indeed blessed! No wonder you are excited! Well done! You are definitely winning! Love xxxx

  6. I’m looking forward to the day I can do this again too. I’ve never felt so ‘tied down’ before and I hear vehicles whizzing past all day long.
    So happy you’re back “on the road again!”
    Bless Susan x

  7. That is so wonderful …there is nothing like the freedom of the open road . It took me five times to pass my driving test, so every time i drive, I feel i’m on a magic carpet ride and my husband would say ( quite rudely ), the way I drive, it feels like a magic carpet ride for him lol…enjoy
    Cherryx

  8. Know exactly how you feel! When I finally started driving around without having panic attacks it was the best ever! Now I love getting in the car cause, just like you said, I love the freedom in it.

  9. Catching up Nicole and delighted to hear you are motoring again. Great freedom…sometimes as I drive its like being on a horse and galloping through the country side. .a very real and wonderful experience (radio blasting countryside hurtling by)..what freedom we can have now sure beats the bicycle (I’d be dead on a bike)…such a long way from our grandmothers time …cars, the vote, our own income..but seriously and sincerely am delighted your health is improving..much much love you go girl.xxx..

  10. hip hip hoooraaaaaaay! i love driving by myself on the highways and biways and back country roads. am so happy for you!

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