She drives down the highway in a red convertible, top down, music blasting. Black sunglasses with gold trim cover her deep blue eyes. The yellow and black silk scarf she placed around her neck waves in the wind as she drives.
The curls in her hair sway as the wind flows past them. Sometimes they fly up, hitting her in the face, but she doesn’t seem to care. Her right hand is on the steering wheel and her left is making waves in the air outside the driver’s side window.
Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” blasts through the car speakers. Her lips curve into a smile as she begins to sing along. She sings louder as the chorus starts, nodding her head as she nearly shouts.
The sun is sitting in its place in the blue sky above, like a king on his thrown. Small, puffy clouds pass in front of it from time to time before slowly floating away. The sun’s warmth on her skin feels comforting.
A paper bag is laying in the road ahead. She drives over it and watches in her rear view mirror as it flies up and swirls in the air before falling back to it’s resting place in the road.
Fields line both sides of the highway for as far as she can see. Mountains in the distance seem to grow as she moves closer to them. No cars are behind her and no cars can be seen for miles ahead. It’s just her, her convertible, and the open road.
She reaches up with her right hand and adjusts her mirror. She notices her bags in the back seat and another smile creeps onto her face. It had been time for a change for so long. She finally decided today was the day.
She accepted that job offer in California. She rented an apartment and told her old boss “Peace out.” She packed up her things, hired a moving company, and hit the road. Her new job didn’t start for 2 weeks so she decided to make the move a vacation.
A roadrunner darts across the street a few feet in front of her and disappears in the brush on the side of the highway. That’s when she decides to pull over, gets out of the car and looks around at the world surrounding her. She closes her eyes and takes in a deep, cleansing breath. She takes in the landscape, she feels the soft breeze as it caresses her skin, and she listens as the sounds of nature fill her ears with hope.
She remembers the conversation with a stranger at a bus stop that had helped her come to this life-changing decision. “There is more to living than just breathing and existing. You must experience the world around you.” The stranger closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. After letting it out, she smiled, opened her eyes and said, “You must smell it, hear it, see it, feel it and experience it. You have to take risks. Then, you are really living.”
She decided in that moment to follow that advice an take some risks, experience new things, and to take in as much as she could. Now, standing on the side of a highway, she feels at peace. She grabs her journal and her favorite pen and climbs onto the hood of her convertible, leaning her back against the windshield. She chews on the end of her pen as she looks out at the mountains in the distance.
Then, she begins to write. She takes it all in and even notices the air is fresher when you are in the middle of nowhere.
Peace. She has been searching for it her entire life. Now, with the advice of a wise stranger on a bus stop bench, she takes in another deep breath and feels nothing but peace.