You know, sometimes you just must leave your house to gain perspective.
Staying at home doesn’t usually bother me. In our retirement phase of life, Papa and I can always find something to occupy our time, a project that needs accomplished around the house or our 2 ½ acre yard.
But while we were all sequestered in our homes the last couple of months, often we just felt the need to escape our house so we jumped in the car and took some “road trips.”
Those so-called trips merely consisted of little jaunts around our area traveling down country roads. Sometimes we hopped on the four-lane highway nearby to take us to another spot to exit and see where another less-traveled road would take us.
When the weather cooperated, we’d amble down the road with our windows wide open, enjoying all-too-rare sunshine and fresh air.
Since our granddaughter was staying with us during this time, she’d often fall asleep in her back seat booster and we’d drive along in peace and quiet. I’d close my eyes (and I admit I too sometimes fell asleep) and just relish sun rays shining through the windshield onto my face and the scent of the country rushing in the open windows.
It was delightful! Mmmm, freshly cut hay….ohhhhh, the sweet aroma of honeysuckle….ahhh, newly mown grass…aha, the fragrance of blooming lilacs.
And then – UGH! A noxious odor filled my nostrils and I’d open my eyes, gag, hold my breath, and cover my nose. Why? Roadkill.
Plenty of white-tailed deer populate our surroundings and inevitably wind up dead alongside our highways, bi-ways, and country roads. In addition, all other kinds of critters – skunks, opossums, raccoons, wild turkeys – race across roads in a battle with oncoming cars and trucks and lose.
Those unfortunate animals become roadkill, bloating up, baking in the sun, and causing a foul, decaying smell in the middle or on the side of the roadway that just about knocks you over.
Roadkill is gross and repugnant. It’s both horrid to see and nauseating to smell, but it is reality, especially here in the country.
And that reminds me of life. You can be tooling along, happy as a clam, enjoying what comes your way, and then bam. Something is rotten in Denmark or at least on your roadway of life.
Something unpleasant or offensive causes you to scrunch up your nose not because of its odor but because it’s repulsive or downright disheartening to deal with. That’s the realistic side of traveling down life’s highway as a human being on this planet earth.
We’re not always promised pleasant times or that something wicked doesn’t this way come. We must deal with the ugly, the cruel, or the worrisome event that occurs in life without letting it overwhelm us and turn us into a putrid form of roadkill ourselves.
Reality requires us to deal with it and we do in the best way we possibly can. But I’d much rather hold my breath and change lanes to avoid the foul and vile so I can focus on something pleasant and encouraging.
Something like the most delicious aroma from the lily of the valley growing in our flower garden. That brings joy to my highway of life.
“The highway of life was littered with the roadkill of those who didn’t know when to change lanes.” ~ Karen White