I do; when dad opened the tent today and the smell of the sage that we had packed in there in anticipation of this very moment flooded us with the bittersweet odor that simply means canyon country, the winds that blow from far away.
When I see dad pull on his boots, foregoing the “business casual” pleated Dockers that are neither business or casual, but are part of a insidious marketing plan to further emasculate the spirit of man; these boots mean we’re GOING!!!, and it doesn’t matter where.
The sun rising in our mirrors, and the sun later setting through a rainbow haze of bug guts on our windshield, the arcs painted there by the ineffective sweep of the wiper blades.
Water from a roadside spring so sweet and cold that it makes my front teeth throb.
When the ditch is running with muddy water, and dad can’t keep me out of it, knowing full well that we have to get back in the car, and we don’t have a towel.
A satisfying, tail twitching, unhurried poop in the high country, as long as dad can’t find the camera; what is it with that guy and bodily functions?
And I could go on for days, as when you’ve seen life pass by from a prolonged time inside a crate, you tend to appreciate the not so little things. I have to laugh when I hear humans complain about the weeds in their yards; if all you have ever felt is hard plastic or concrete beneath your pads, even dandelions and chickweed feel like the finest Persian rugs in comparison.
People comment constantly about how happy I am, and even dad can’t get his mind around it sometimes; my secret? Totally immersing myself in the moment, making a total jackass of myself if that’s what the situation calls for. Do you think that those primping primadonnas and politicians that TMZ and Entertainment Tonight pimps as the “pretty people” are any happier than I? Not on your life; and what’s more, I’ll bet my last biscuit that they’re no happier than you; it’s just advantageous to the advertisers to keep us thinking they are.
I see your comments, and I look at your pages, and as a whole, you are a much happier, well adjusted lot than even you probably give yourselves credit for, so look up; there is a time to kneel, but also a time to stand, as well as a time to frolic in the ditch, to flounce with wild abandon. If you want to see the epitome of strength and character under adversity, ignore the media and saunter on over to Darling Nikki’s domain; that’s what I’M talking about!
Some have said that they envy us our travels, to which I reply, “what hindereth thou?” Money? We have none, so we sometimes sleep on the roadside and eat beanie weenies. Time? Distance? Health? Age? All relevant concerns, but I promise you that, in the end, you will regret much, much more what you did not than what you did; just ask dad. Writhing on the ground in the Ouachitas, turning septic from crapping out your insides while you watch your son’s tailights vanish through the trees’ll change your perspective like little else will.
So find what makes would happy, then do it, over and over until it becomes a habit, but not for yourself; do it for someone else that can do nothing in return, for in the end, lasting happiness lies in service to others.
And in road trips; there is that as well.