Childhood Reflections

September 26, 2006

Reading a story, I was reminded of a childhood memory.

I remember traveling late at night on the roads. Mostly over bridges and other sparsely lit areas. Through the country on the way home from a party by the friend of the family.

Darkness and countryside envelope the car. The only light is the headlights of our car. As it cuts through the night, I imagine all the things that might make up the darkness. All the creatures that might inhabit the night. But as I sit in the quiet of the car, I’m also reminded that I’m safe, that nothing can get me here where I nod off to sleep.

I remember best the warmth of the heater, the beautiful, comfortable silence of the cabin, and the scenery my imagination could add to outside.

I don’t think I’ve taken such a nocturnal journey in quite a while. A trip through the night, where I sit in the back seat and nod off to sleep. Trips today are made in the drivers seat, with the radio blaring and the silence marred by idle conversation. Or at best, made sitting in the passenger seat, worrying about the silence, thinking it awkward, and wondering about the best way to break the silence.

I miss those trips. I remember them ending with me nearly asleep, wandering into my house and laying in bed. Or sometimes, I would be asleep, and my parents would pick me up and bring me into my room, place me on my bed, and tuck me in.

I suppose these sorts of things must pass with age.  But I wonder why I can’t still take a trip through the night, the countryside dark and empty, and my mind at ease with the world. Why I can’t sit comfortably in silence.

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