Thirteen miles in three and a half hours.  By some ancient standards that might be making good time. 

This is what I think as I sit in traffic, inching along on a very small stretch of a 300 mile quest to Connecticut.  These thirteen miles are neither here nor there.  They are somewhere in between, but they are exactly where I am and I am simply there.

There is a lot to see that maybe I would have missed at 60 plus miles an hour.  Even on the Delaware Turnpike…at night…in the dark of the new moon.    There is a lot to see even though its not remarkably different.  But it needs to be seen I suppose.  We all need to be seen.

There is some reason I am here, I tell myself.  And I mean it.  And I feel not impatient, even as I am a little achey.  Somehow knowing that I am exactly where I need to be makes it peaceful if not perfect.

So, I play my ipod, a silly Russian roulette, spin the wheel and let the Universe decide what songs we will hear.  I discover that the Universe prefers Ry Cooter and the Reverend Gary Davis and Pavement which I think is kinda funny given that I am stuck on a long black stretch of Pavement and this is apparently what I am meant to see.   

I giggle to myself when I see a sign warning us to slow down for the construction.  I wonder if we really could go any slower, me and my fellow travelers.  Then I learn we can, and we do.  Thats when it occurs to me that once upon a time someone might have thought that having gone 13 miles in 3 and a half hours was making good time.  Its all relative.

There is no exit.  The metaphor is not lost on me. We are all of us trapped here–on this stretch of a journey that some might say is painfully slow but maybe is the right speed afterall.

I am thankful there is no Pollyana ending.  I have not found any greater meaning in the traffic.   I didn’t find a long lost friend in the car next to mine.    There was no missed accident, at least I don’t think there is.  I don’t have any aha moments that explain the traffic, the slow car, the endless stretch of wet dark pavement.  Whatever I needed to learn is subtler, simpler and I am not sure I can even articulate it. 

I am here.  Nowhere else. 

I am somewhere in the dark.  Stuck like so many.  Creeping along and moving but always exactly where  I am.  I am moving, always moving.  I feel my chest rise with every breath.  I feel my leg tap out the rythym of the song.  I feel my arms stretch up as I try and relieve my tired back. 

Thirteen miles in 3 and a half hours.  By ancient standards I was making good time.   

One Response to “Thirteen miles”

  1. Leenie Says:

    Yikes! That was a long trip – do not think I would have been as patient!