It is just about a nine-hour drive from Batavia, Ohio to Williamsburg, Virginia. I have made this trip at least 35 times. Double that for my parents. I typically forget to charge my iPod, so think about seven hours Top 40, one hour talk radio and one hour consisting of static and silence in the West Virginia Mountains. I wouldn’t drive this far for much, but I have no hesitation in driving this far for William and Mary. I will never think of this time as wasted. Instead, I think of it as an extension of my time at the College. I have spent these hours reading in the passenger seat, sleeping in the backseat and singing along to the radio if I am in the drivers seat.
If I am driving to William and Mary, I am thinking about seeing all of my friends, classes and the campus. When I am driving home, I am thinking about everything that I have just left.
I have never understood how I can leave campus, get in a car and recap my semester in nine hours. I’m sure that’s how my mom feels too, when she is subjected to nine hours of this verbal recap. She nods, agrees, disagrees and listens to me tell story after story.
I wonder if it ever gets old? It definitely gets repetitive, I’m sure about that.
I love this drive. Sure, I complain about how long it takes, but it is one of the most beautiful drives in the county and it is a time of true reflection. I’m not talking about reevaluating my life or choosing a new direction. I’m talking about taking the time to sweat the petty stuff. That time I spilled coffee all over myself, the three coats I have lost over the course of the semester, the four umbrellas that I have managed to break, I talk for hours, because I can. These are empty hours that need to be filled with the important, the emotional and the trivial.
These are hours that I would never get if it weren’t for the one-lane roads, the slow semi-trucks and the constant road construction. I’m not sure what I would do without these hours.
It seems strange to think that I only have a few trips left. Only a few more of those nine-hour windows to stare out at an ever-changing landscape, leaves that are green to gold as the seasons change, lining the way from home to home.
“Take me home, country roads.”