With the Windows Down…

tree topped road 

It is summer here, in Minnesota…don’t ya know it :-) Plenty hot today and nothing but the same for the rest of the week. We’re on the brink of August, which is always the warmest month in these parts and it wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the humidity we get…I hear dry heat is bearable compared to the moist, heavy heat we get here. I actually planned my errand running today for this morning (before the heat hit) as none of our vehicles have air conditioning. I thought I’d make a mad dash for it, grab the goods, rush back and call it a day in our air conditioned home.

When Emily and I drove to Chicago almost two weeks ago now (I keep blogging about this trip…) it was HOT and HUMID. We had all the car windows down and the vents turned on full blast. It was not a glamorous picture as we weren’t driving through the countryside in a convertable with the top down or even in a car with a sun roof…no just our 1992 maroon colored Honda wagon. It DID have electric windows though…ooooo…ahhhh…I know, you’re wowed! :-) About nine hours later we limped into our hotel’s lobby steaming (quite literally–I swear this is true) and a wee bit weary. If women only glow when they sweat then Emily and I were competing with the sun for output. The hotel clerk put us on the tenth floor probably just to get us as far away from the lobby as possible…

One thing I must admit that I enjoyed on that wilt-worthy road trip was the fact that as we drove we could smell the landscape, we were IN the landscape, even a part of the landscape. I felt like a little kid again (a time which probably predated vehicle air conditioning…), sitting in the car with the windows down and my hair blowing in my face. Was something to it that I don’t think I can explain in words, but it was real none-the-less. Even though I had to wear a hat to keep my hair out of my eyes as I drove (which makes things even warmer than usual), it was fun…even invigorating at times.

Most of the trip was through the state of Wisconsin, farm country…Emily and I, at times, had to hold our noses…think one time was a pig farm, think another was fresh manure on a field… Then there was the stagnant water smell from flooding in the area, trees and fields knee high in water. Trekking on the outskirts of one largish city, we were hit with industrial smells and then there was the always approaching, just finished or in the middle of road construction and its special odors…Sometimes, though, especially in the heartland of Wisconsin, the smell was fresh, green and alive. The rolling hills and tree lined highways were places of wonder, places alive, places fragrant with green…

About seven to eight hours into our trip, on the outskirts of Chicago, we really got hit with road construction and, at times, the wind would kick up large clouds of dirt and dust that would rise and head right at us. Usually, we’d see it coming and would race to get the windows up in time. We’d pass through a dust cloud, let our windows down to breathe again, and then have to roll them up a few miles later. It was great fun, we found it humorous…although I’m sure the dirt that did settle on us and streak down our arms and faces as we dripped with sweat did not impress the hotel clerk one bit…

All of the above came back to me yesterday when I was driving that same car (with the windows down, of course) down a county road. All of a sudden there was this overwhelmingly aromatic smell. I turned to look to see what was bathing me with its fragrance: a large purple field of clover was just sitting there, waiting for someone to take it in. I got the job, I got the blessing, because I had my windows down and let it in…

I could spin this into spiritual terms and talk about how this has taught me that I should stop insulating myself from God and others, has taught me to stop rolling up my spiritual windows and turning on the AC, and has shown me the importance of lowering the windows and letting Jesus and others surround me with their presence, but I think I’ll leave it just as it is…

Sometimes being bathed by God’s creation is healing enough…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s