There is nothing quite like a road trip with a good friend to revive a slumping spirit. Which is why I awoke promptly at 4 am yesterday morning with the delicious sensation of skipping school. When preparing for such an undertaking activities of daily living become heightened. Take breakfast for example. Normally, I eat breakfast at home, after rowing, with little enthusiasm or forethought, but this is simply, not acceptable behavior on road trip morning.
After carefully dressing in light layers, filling my water bottle, and packing my healthy snacks, at 6:15 I set sail on my maiden voyage to Einstein Bagels. Upon arrival, I cast my attention toward the familiar territory of a whole wheat bagel thin with egg whites. In the time that it takes the lovely young woman to arrive from filling the carafes by the coffee station to take my order, I have noticed that these are not ordinary bagels. Oh no. This is a new world filled with the exotic allure of Pumpkin Spice Crunch, Powerhouse Grains, and Spinach Florentine, all beckoning seductively from luxuriously full bins. I mean really, such creativity! How come I never knew this existed? As I made my way back to the car, there was a spring in my step created by the sense of magic, that comes from being even a few inches away from the everyday realities of responsible caregiving.
And so the day went. Excitement building along with a rush of memories of life less encumbered, as we passed that invisible line at Stamford. A wash of people, and their stories flooded me as we moved across the South Bronx where I had worked for five years after returning from two plus decades of life in Canada. There was sense of vertigo, as my lives, past and present, collided over the East River.
Stepping off the bus at 8th and 45th there was a wonderful sense of completion, a homecoming of the sort when you realize the bedroom you grew up in really was small compared to the rest of the world you have seen. I am glad it was Saturday, affording New York it’s more subdued touristy regalia. I breathed in New York, walking with my good friend, heads bent into the wind, on our way to Columbus Circle. There we met up with a former colleague and dear friend from the time when my life was so vastly different from the one I lead today.
It was a fabulous lunch filled with the grace of the simple relaxation of wonderful food shared with friends, prepared by someone else, at a leisurely pace. No where else to go. No one else to worry about. I relaxed into the fullness of breath that only this knowing can inspire. A play at Lincoln Center, a stroll up to Loehmann’s, sharing lives, hopes, dreams, and fears in the company of amazing women. Our adventure ended with sharing a sandwich on the way back to the bus, people watching, and checking in with our significant others. We were back in the parking lot by 11pm.
When I got home, mom was up watching TV in bed. She’d had a good day too. She chatted at length about her visit with my new young hiking friend who brought over her wedding photos, and reported on the conversations with our angel like neighbor, both of whom spent time with her under the guise of helping out with our 14 year old beagle. After taking Molly out and washing up, I finally slid into bed. It was close to 1am and I found myself making a list for the morning of all the things that would need to be accomplished in light of having taken a day off. That is when the miracle happened. I reminded myself to stop, tomorrow would care of itself. I was immediately rewarded with the sense of being filled with the inspiration, and awe of a day spent in New York. When I woke up this morning I was still smiling. It bears repeating – there is nothing like a good road trip to provide much needed uplift for the tasks that lie ahead.