After the snow and rain. Sunrise this week in New Hampshire: driving a wet road through the White Mountains.
I’ve learned that driving frees the mind. Maybe before automobiles, people experienced the same thing on horseback or driving a wagon. I find that when I drive, I’m sort of “outside” the world, watching it go by from within a metal and glass capsule, but I’m somehow going “into” the world at the same time. Hands occupied with the steering wheel, the eye explores the passing landscape and the mind wanders. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe others can relate. My mind is the ultimate wanderer. I suppose motion itself might be what makes driving so imaginatively stirring: being swiftly propelled along through beautiful places, the soul tends to take credit for the transport, perhaps forgetting about the car and the pavement. When I drive, I’m outside myself and outside the world with its problems, and my sight carries me into the sun and trees and the mountains in my windshield. In this sort of moment, especially early in the morning on a beautiful road like this one, driving is as much about transporting the mind as much as transporting the body.
It’s not about riding in a car or even where you’re going: it’s about where your soul believes you’re going. Your soul craves adventure. Get up before the sun and take it for a drive.
Photo: Route 3 north. View of Mt. Jefferson and the Presidential Range.