Monday, July 19, 2010
The Call of the Road
Part of my problem is that I love to travel so much. I am a nomad at heart, a wanderer, a pilgrim, a traveler. I could live out of a single rolling suitcase, the overhead bin sized suitcase, for weeks at a time. I don't eat much. I don't need much space to sleep. What I need is freedom. Free time. Museums to ooh and aah my way through. Churches to light candles and say prayers in. Bridges to cross. Streets to roam and get lost in. Not only an empty camera memory card, but also a brand new travel journal to fill. An ample supply of colored markers. The rest is negotiable.
When months pass without me answering the call of the road, my mind wanders. My soul wanders. My thoughts wander to people and places far away. I lose my bearings here in my hometime because my inner compass, my internal GPS is desperately trying to orient me on the streets of Madrid or Rome or New York or San Francisco. But none of those places are options for me at the moment.
For now, Washington, DC will have to do.
We leave tomorrow morning, my daughter and I, for a four day trip to our Nation's Capital.
We will spend an hour or so on an evening tour of the Nation's House on Wednesday night. I soooooooo hope that the President and/or The First Lady make a surprise appearance while we are wandering about in the West Wing...
We will wander through the National Zoo and the National Cathedral and the National Gallery of Art. (Why does everything have such regal and noble names? Can pandas and pews and portraits truly be National?!?)
We will weep our way through the Holocaust Museum and alongside the Viet Nam and Korean War Monuments.
We will most likely overeat and overheat.
We will most likely overspend on food, drink, and souvenirs.
We will most likely underestimate how far one monument is from another.
We will most likely underappreciate the wonder, the splendor, the import of it all.
But none of that matters right now. What matters to me most right now is this: after far too long, I will once again be answering the unrelenting, undeniable, immutable, incommutable Call of the Road.
Traveling mercies to us.
And to you, wherever you are right now and wherever you are going.