Last week as I struggled though my final papers for the college semester, I felt exhausted. Driving home from a workout, I eased my car to a halt at a red light. To my right a car was signaling to turn onto the freeway. For just a moment a feeling of flight washed over me. In those brief moments before the light turned green, I fantasized about heading down the freeway too.
Where would I go? It didn’t matter. I just wanted to drive and drive and drive. Somehow I thought in those blacktopped miles I could escape the demands of grades and performance evaluations. No more boring reading, peer-reviewed theories, or re-writing until my eyes bled.
I even thought I would compromise and just go for a day, not a lifetime. Maybe I would drive to a small nowhere town, order lunch, tip the waitperson more than the cost of the meal, and circle back home. The respite would surely clear the fog and give me the energy boost I was craving. My hand fingered the signal. Should I turn right and follow my whim? What would be the worst thing that could happen? Dizzying heights of happiness? Breathless giddyness?
In the end, the light turned green and I obediently drove home to finish my schoolwork. But in those endless traffic light minutes, I was free to travel anywhere in my mind. I was a gypsy spirit, alive, and unrestrained. It was the best part of my day.