Every day starts with the turn of a key
and a shift into drive.
I roll down a gravelly path,
onto smooth tar that winds over hills
and around tight corners.
As I fly down my memorized road
I’m cocooned in dense treetops,
content and safe.
It’s perfect here.
Totally unbothered by summer tourists
who wouldn’t dare to stray so far from sand
into the forested hills that are my home.
I stay here as long as I can
but I must keep driving forward.
It’s impossible to turn back now.
I eventually find myself caught
in the monotony of familiar traffic.
My steady drive nearly halted
as I crawl through crowded towns
of artificial people
doing artificial things.
I’m alone with my thoughts.
No music blasting through the cabin
and out my open windows
can ever drown them out.
I wonder if I’m just like the pedestrians,
crossing streets with barely a look
at the oncoming traffic barreling towards them
or motorists gawking at small-town charm,
inching ever so closely to parked vehicles.
I begin to think that I’m lost in some way,
straying far from the course I’m supposed to take.
Just as I consider turning around to go back
to my perfect place where I’m comfortable
and don’t need to think about where I am,
Route 1 becomes country roads
that remind me of where I’ve been
while encouraging me to branch out
into a world I have yet to know.
I’m exponentially more confident now
then the first time I drove this path,
when I made poor decisions that forced me to reroute
and fortunate mistakes that lead me
on scenic drives down twisting lanes
pointing to where I am today.