There is something about riding in a new car, not just the smell or the quiet mobility, or the perfection of the pristine, fingerprint and smudge-free interior, but the way it transforms our perception of travel. I mentioned it to Ken yesterday on my first drive when we ventured out to Best Buy to grab a cable for my iPod, a drive we have literally made nearly a thousand times. The trees, now fully in the throes of their transformation, were exactly the same, the other cars were the same, the dips and bumps and imperfections of the road were all the same, but the drive was completely different, as though we were seeing the roads, the people, the color of the sky through the branches, for the first time, like discovering a new town, some hidden away, shady, quiet place discovered while on vacation. Everything about it feels new and wondrous, full of a sense of discovery and delight.
My forty-five minute commute to work this morning, and the return trip home this evening, were much the same way, and I found myself not minding the traffic or the delays or the noxious odors from the tow truck I followed for nearly half the trip. I listened to a podcast, as I do every day, rolled the windows down and enjoyed the coolness of air blowing through my hair. The sunset seemed spectacular and when my friend Sean called I urged him to look to the sky and the sun sitting above the mountains and shadows of those mountains resting on the clouds behind them. I told him, "It's a sad thing that in only a few weeks climbing into this car will be an ordinary thing, my drive to work will become a chore once again, and everything will be as it was only two days ago."
And then I came home, changed my clothes and took Duncan to the park where the baseball diamonds were full and the fields were dotted with the running bodies of the children's soccer leagues. The sun slipped away and shadows became darkness, the air cooled and the sweetness of the grass rose up around us. And then I remembered that even though those moments of adventure in my new car will fade, every walk with Duncan is as vibrant as our first, that some things never dull with the passage of time, that our blessings are not measured by possessions but the bonds that hold us to those we love and those who love us back.