It is true – I really did listen to the new Taylor Swift cd two times in a row (even though I’ve already listened to it a million times since it first came out), but then afterwards – I just turned everything off and it was quiet, and I was alone with my thoughts. For a moment, I pretended I had no destination and that I was just driving to drive, without a plan. To get lost, to make my own way. And to find something that just might grow my heart, to make more room.
I drove for probably 20 minutes in silence, deep in thought before I realized that even solitude needs company in certain situations, and the perfect company for a situation like this was clearly coffee. But not just any kind of coffee – gas station coffee. I pulled off at the next exit in a town I’d always passed on this route but had never visited before. It was total country – literally the only thing that could be seen for miles and miles was this teeny tiny gas station. Highway gas station coffee is actually my favorite… it’s always hot, it’s always fresh because they’re making it so often for the truckers, and the people who are taking your money when you pay for it actually give you eye contact as they make small talk about the weather and then thank you and wish you a nice day. It’s only in those instances I don’t mind the weather small talk. Because even though it’s small talk, it’s genuine.
I pulled back onto the highway, breathing in the aroma of the black coffee, sipping it even though it was way too hot still, and admiring the gray skies… the cornfields…. the wide open spaces. I drove quite a ways in silence. I gave thanks to God for my life. I gave thanks for my parents. I gave thanks for my husband. I gave thanks for a lot of people and a lot of things. I prayed. I prayed hard for a friend who would be laying her baby in the arms of Jesus within the next 48 hours… and I cried. Hard. And I prayed some more. And then I was quiet again, my thoughts drifting off and thinking about things that were so random I can’t recall now what they were. It wasn’t until I drove past a cop car, hiding behind the trees, that I think I woke back up – snapping out of my daydream. Clearly it was time for the silence to be over, so I put in my homemade cd of all of my favorite Bob Dylan songs and I blasted them loud as I took a deep breath, continued to sip the coffee, and wondered if I’d ever learn to play the harmonica some day.
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