I think my heart and soul had a conversation in the middle of the night and came to the consensus that they needed adventure. I think that when I woke up this morning, I knew I would not be content to sit at home or even to sit in a coffee shop. I was antsy all day – dancing around on my toes as I stumbled through the school work that was far from my mind though it was right in front of my face. I knew I there was a car waiting in the garage, its keys on my key chain. I made a CD for today – 21 songs, 1.2 hours total – I knew that the short jaunt to the grocery store and Karen’s Book Barn would not take long enough to listen to more than a few songs, but I put 21 on it anyway. I think I decided with every song after four or five that I would, in fact, listen to the whole thing – be gone long enough to listen to the whole thing.
So, I left. Gathered up my poems and other various things to occupy my time and left. It’s been London-raining all day for those of you who didn’t know. London-raining, Maggie, that’s not really a word. Ah, but it’s a Maggie word. London-raining is when the rain doesn’t fall, it just is – a continual mist that settles over everything and and makes the brown grass and grey sky deliciously sad and eerie. It’s been London-raining all day and London-rain is best enjoyed outside, where you can really take it in – London-rain is not to be observed, it is to be experienced. So, I parked purposefully far away from the coffeeshop so as to experience, not merely observe. And I half-danced, like a very little girl, with my hands in my pockets and my feet wet from the puddle I’d managed to not-avoid in a glorious, messy splash all the way to the door of LaGrange Roasters, which was locked, because they were closed. They have odd hours, no one’s sure why, I don’t really care why, aside from the natural curiosity, but I can’t ever figure out how to arrive when they’re open. So, I got back in the car and sat in something of a conundrum.
There is a point in every typical novel or movie called (by myself and probably a few other people) “the point of no return.” It is the point at which the hero fully, finally embraces the story – leaving all cares, concerns, and cacidrosis by the wayside. I’m not really sure that last word is used in the proper context, but I found it and it completed the alliteration and it sounded cool, so it’s there. Go ahead, look it up, you know you have to now. Anyway, I turned the car on, pulled (expertly) out into the street and drove to the grocery store. That – that was my point of no return – my abandon to the story. It wasn’t really that big of a deal, I had to go the grocery anyway, but the original plan was to sit for hours in a coffeeshop and then go to the store on my way home (technically, out of my way home, but you get the idea.) I decided as I muddled my way through a four-way stop and turned left, not right, that today was not going to go as planned in the most marvelous of ways. The Roasters being closed confirmed what my heart had known since this morning – sitting still for an hour would not satisfy the restless that settled in myself, I needed – not wanted – adventure.
Restless comes on purpose. It comes so we don’t forget what it’s like to do something for no reason at all, so we don’t forget what it’s like to have the music too loud, to roll down the windows even though it’s ridiculously cold, so we don’t forget laughing until it hurts just because, don’t forget being a little girl or little boy playing games of pretend, running for your life from an imaginary don’t forget running through puddles, walking intentionally through the rain, walking barefoot through field that could potentially injure you uncaring of the burs and briers, don’t forget the excitement of taking a road that leads no one knows where, of jumping off the roof, of throwing aside grammatical rules and writing a grotesquely long run-on sentence. Restless made its fitful home in me today and that is why I went to kroger first and bought Mary’s Gone Crackers and began eating them as I drove back to mainstreet and parked too far away yet again and walked to Karen’s Book Barn, which has normal hours. My heart raced as I bought waited for my latte, anticipation and excitement bubbling delightfully within me. “I’m in love,” I thought as the feeling rose and a smile would not leave my face, “I’m in love with God and adventure.” I laughed. Out loud. For no apparent reason. In the coffeeshop. Then I took my latte and left, skipping now, through the London-rain, to the car. Into the driver’s seat (still an odd concept for me)shoes off, music on, engine on, back up, pull out, turn right, drive. I took at least four roads I’ve never driven, going as far on them as I dared, then turning around and going back, singing loudly and sipping my latte (technically against the “drive cautiously so you don’t kill yourself” rules, but I was still careful.) I’m not rebellious, not the kind of person who breaks rules like ‘don’t drink (any beverage) and drive’ and ‘drive the speed limit,’ I am, however, the kind of person that knows driving a small bit over the speed limit on a country road as long as you feel entirely in control of the vehicle will not kill you – and will rarely get you a ticket because how the heck is a police man supposed to patrol a ‘holler.’ I am cautious, I am, however, fast. Nothing spectacular happened (aside from my nearly hitting a mail box) – I simply drove for miles down unfamiliar roads and relished the London-rain and sang loudly and carelessly and drank coffee. There were no revelations – just doing unexpected things, flying by the seat of my pants, enjoying music and driving fast and not knowing what’s around the next bend – delighting in creation and thus in its Creator. Adventure. For no reason other than I needed to.
I ended my trip by driving in a very large unnecessary loop that took my past my Grammy and Pa’s old house. I was very proud of the fact that I made the loop seamlessly (I know my sister is now laughing at my extensive directional dysfunction.) As I came to the entrance of the subdivision where this home resides, I decided I was not yet done being so full I could burst and drove right passed my turn, taking the same exact loop again. The restless has gone for now, but I almost await its return because it calls for new adventure.