“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!
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…