driving + crying… two lanes running through my heart 9/11

hard to believe i'd ever not just jump on a plane and maybe out of respect for those who NEED to get places quickly i opted to drive up to cleveland for a couple items of business this weekend 8, almost nine hours in a car...and yet in light of what's befallen our country, it was the best thing i could have ever done we live these go-go fast paced lives, racing and jumping and twisting to fit it all in, hit the mark, make our number and the pressure builds and the pressure drains us of the basics like how beautiful our country truly is rolling out of nashville on the three lanes of I-65 north it was green and rolling, as the nation fell beneath my tires relinquishing the ground that is all of our's to cherish, to savor, to embrace the hills were reaching up toward the horizon, but they were also beckoning me to come forward and really consider this land… kentucky was those stone faces, blown apart to make way for concrete ribbons all the jagged edges, the piles of slate extending different lengths like shelving built to last forever, holding the tales of all who'd ever traveled through there and the lushness of it all the pine needles scraping out against the blue the thick, forest and emerald green of oaks and maples and every other tree rich with sap, bobbling on the breeze, tranquil, yet strong at rest because it's the posture that best suits sun dappled fridays those trees lining the hillside, rising and falling with the topography but always reaching to the heavens with a faith that defies gravity even as there is nothing more firmly rooted in the rich kentucky soil and there was louisville in all its preserved glory exactly as it was, even as it grows more modern every day reminding me that the past is the key to the future and forgetting what we were and are negates the fertile lives we've led that brought us here... for the birthright and the experience accrued is a gift kentucky, with it's white fences and its horsey allusions (even their highway signs) offered that sense of the land as emerging power... as the ground moving and swelling... as something that is a force of its own ohio offered its fecundity as a broad gift once cincinnati with its skyline and its stadium and its merging lanes fell away and the two lane each way (no superhighway for my home state) pulled away from the bottom bookend of the buckeye state, ohio's vast expanses spread themselves endlessly before like the sun dying -- spilling melted crimson lipstick beyond the eye's view -- on the ocean in key west... behind barbed wire or split rail fences, the fields are ready for the harvest the corn probably taller than i am... brown with its tassles swinging in the wind green fields with yellow flowers on the tips, some crop i probably should know hayfields half-mowed, with the big rolls of winter-food for livestock left in the midst of the newly shorn green fields where they promise both a future filled with more waving grasses to be brought in and the knowledge that winter will not starve the cattle or the sheep or the horses or whatever else they'll feed it to there were the paint peeling barns in reds and whites with tar black roofs the aging witnessing the time already committed to a way of life that keeps our country strong -- and reminds us, too, that farm aid's message (keep family farmers on the farm) is as much about protecting a way of life that was the backbone of this country you could see flags on the mailboxes, where the access roads abutted 71 and those mailboxes all sported those tiny flags in tangible demonstration of their commitment to the greater way of life... and the houses and the fields and the equipment and the crops are all part of this amazing multi-layered truth that is this country... that is the unseen things that are the fiber of our being sure, the roads were scarred and patched. the ride was bumpy and hot and i think i got sunburned on my face while driving but it was also breath-taking, to come over a hill and see an amazing valley to look down from a bridge and see the water flowing forward, not concerned about who did it or what does it mean just moving forward in tranquility, the power coiled in the current + the faith lodged in something higher yet more basic i drove because i was afraid to fly i arrived a rich woman, reacquainted with the majesty that is this land to see trees creating a canopy for travel to watch tobacco leaves bend and wave and sigh to know that there is richness in the soil that will feed us forever if cared for what more could be want from our nation? it is a gorgeous, beautiful, inspiring place in its raw forms it is worth seeing to remember where it all starts from if you're feeling weak or small or scared or impotent get in your car get out of town drive 'til you come to a much less cultivated or urban place and just feast on what you see... it will take you to a place where you heart soars, your eyes tear and your soul is fed in ways that it desparately needs right now i promise because i could feel much of my terror and sadness falling away... a tranquility and a joy replacing it just when i needed it most and was sure it was to temporal to even try to chase sure i wept a few tears, but they were tears of recognition with jimmy webb's "wish you were here" and "just like always" playing as the miles fell away with the sun-dappled afternoon and those tears set me free for whatever it's worth it's not giving blood, but if what you can do is remind yourself how vast and beautiful it is what better gift for yourself and your fellow travellers? indeed and may st christopher go with you! xoxox holly g cleveland, ohio by way of nashville, tennessee 18 sept 2001
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