What is it about traveling a country road that beckons to me without fail?
I grew up in a fairly rural small town, and I live in another one nearby, so I’ve driven my share of country roads, then and now. Yet I never tire of their mystique. Perhaps it’s the escape they offer from highway traffic and tailgaters, or the opportunity for my mind to wander, or the anticipation of what might be around the next bend.
John Denver immortalized country roads in his enduring song of the same name, as did Willie Nelson when he paid homage to being ‘On the Road Again.’ And in their book, Junk Gypsy: Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wonder & Wander, the Sikes sisters laud the road as “…a crystal ball that holds all the answers.”
They just might be right.
I’ve had some of the most memorable conversations, laughs, and moments with my daughter, mother, boyfriend, friends and family while we’ve been driving.
As a writer, I’ve had creative epiphanies and figured out plot or other story problems while following those meandering roads. I’ve also worked out life’s problems, and lots of times, I’ve just enjoyed the view.
Sometimes I feel driving those back roads is a kind of meditation. It’s calming, centering, and welcoming, and it gives me a chance to think, or not think, depending on my mood.
It helps me slow down and enables me to appreciate and be mindful of the beauty all around me. Like the rambling Victorian house with the widow’s walk on one oft traveled byway. Or the lambs scampering through a farmer’s fields. The view of the horizon. The bright red barn in the valley with the American flag painted on one side. Sunsets. Corn fields fluttering in the breeze. On different days, I’ve been lucky enough to spot a pheasant, a red fox, and my favorite, a great blue heron.
In the words of famed author Louis L’Amour, “The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for.”
Indeed. Adventure and solace, inspiration and peace are all just a country mile away.
What are you traveling for?
Rebecca E. Neely is a reader, storyteller, blogger and author. Careers, past and present, include freelance writing, accounting, mother, problem solver, doer and head bottle washer. Her latest novel is The Betrayer, Book 3 in the Crossing Realms paranormal romance series. Find Rebecca on Twitter @RebeccaNeely1.