Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Note from the Road

As the wheels roll down the road at 80 mph, eyes stare aimlessly into the distance. These early hours of morning when the sun is still snoozing and the thick curtain of fog still hangs in the air, my mind is wide awake. There is a dull moonlight in the sky, and something inside me is telling me this roll along the Florida highway I-75S and is the journey of a lifetime.

After a long time, I am not sitting in the front seat, behind the steering wheel focused on the road ahead, but instead in the back seat where I can let my mind wander. I am  relishing this rather mundane backdrop, an old man two seats ahead is snoring loudly, a two year old boy one seats across has been crying intermittently, several college students are curled up on the vacant seats with their hoodies over their face, and amongst all this is the soft rumble of the AC air vents and wheels on the road. Through the crests of this white noise, there is peace and quiet all around, just as I like.

I envision the journey ahead, over 24 hours. It is excruciating for the body and mind, sitting on an airplane, airport benches and taxi for so long. But the sight of the end result, the joy of meeting my loved ones, is what will undeniably keep me going. I feel happy I did not give in to all the logic and reasons to avoid this sojourn. The results promise to be worthy of the effort.

As I look away from my notepad, out of the window, we are passing by some beautiful land. There are extensive cornfields with rolls of dried corn hay stacks on the ground. The trees, each seems to have a personality of its own. Some tall, some short, some blooming and others shriveled up from the fleeting Florida fall weather. Even in the low early morning glow, I can identify the different shades of green, red, brown and yellow in the leaves. The speed of the bus is blurring the  deep grey pavement that guides us ahead. Multi-layer bridges criss-crossing the pavements, are like my thoughts, sometimes parallel and often intertwined.

There are so many makes and models and colors, oddly though, I see a lot of white cars on the road today. As we approach our destination, more cars are joining us on the highway and the sky is turning golden yellow. I assume these people are bound for same destination as me, lucky for them it is a shorter journey. Maybe I am wrong and their destination lies far ahead of mine. I pray they make it to their ends safely. 

A free of spirit just whizzed by on his bike. The strong wind blowing through his long brown hair, swept back with a blue bandana, makes me envious. Blue is my favorite color. Pick-up trucks and trailer vans are pulling along what is the dead weight of the caravan. In the slow lane, there are two big cargo trucks, hauling all this weight and baggage and don't dare race with the light travelers. One of them tries and heads down the road, swerving the trolley and endangering others. It makes me wonder - why does it even travel with so much weight? - wouldn't it be safer to distribute it across two smaller vehicles? I suspect it has something to do with economy of transport.

In the haze, I can't see more than a few hundred yards. Smooth and straight roads here and bumpy uneven ones in India - both have their own personalities and add to the fun. Right now I feel like closing my eyes and dozing off in the comfort of the first leg of this journey. A short nap it is!

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