I tailgated a chicken truck most of the winding way home from town. It looked like it was snowing. White feathers for snowflakes in the last of May.
I had already taken a wrong turn that sent me right back to Bentonville, tacking on an additional 40 minutes to my drive home. I was only 15 minutes away when I went the wrong direction. I don’t know how; head in the clouds, I suppose. The floating white wisps only confirmed the elevation.
I’m living proof that you can be entirely lost within even an inch radius of home. I’m also evidence that you’re never too far gone to find home again.
It was nearly noon but it looked like late dusk. Dark cloud cover pulled over what would otherwise be the summit of sunshine. It was like a hanging lament.
I was staring at the same license plate for far too long, making a dozen different acronyms for the letters, and adding the numbers. Then multiplying. Then dividing. This is probably why I missed my turn. Well, I didn’t actually miss it, I just turned the wrong way. Sad thing is I didn’t even realize until I saw the Bentonville city limit sign.
My brain has been switched to high gear and firing rapidly lately. I’m guessing it needed a good dose of highway hypnosis to think of nothing at all — including directions.
I was in Gentry when I hit the wall of rain. It sounded like I was driving through the car wash, the way the wind and water was beating the vehicle. Almost instantly there was no visibility. I can confidently say I’ve never driven through conditions that sudden or fierce — only watched from behind the safety of my window panes. Then came the gunshot-hail that I was convinced would shatter my windshield. I could make out blinking hazard lights lining the roadside. I kept going. Slowly. I had already lost time to a senseless detour; I just wanted to get home.
That’s a very honest metaphor. They’re everywhere, you know. Metaphors. I happen to be heavy with them but it’s mostly because I’m a visual learner. Once I see it — it clicks and sticks. I can remember a picture painted with words and meaning. I can connect to that, and hold on.
I’m holding on to a lot of those, actually. Clinging. They are the maps that lead me home. And getting home means everything: eating the cost of the expense to arrive; counting the mileage only to write it off; despising not the journey that led you there, via exhortation or extortion. And, learning to be okay within the vehicle of our own skin.
Trusting that the process is unto a real destination requires more than one sense. We will lose visibility. We will lose our sense of direction and time. We will find ditches and dead ends. We will creep frightened through conditions that threaten to off-road us.
Just keep going — we’re almost home.