07 August 2006

Driving a ragtop & Living in the Now

Horses sweat; men perspire; and ladies glow. This is a southernism I have known all my life.

I've read that studies show most people spend the majority of their time in autopilot: either making plans or thinking of what is going to happen in the future, OR rethinking what they have already done - how they could have done it differently, etc. It's important to Live in the Now. Experience and be immersed in what is happening at this very moment.

Driving a ragtop is very conducive to Living in the Now. Unless it is precipitating, I always have the top down. Today was no exception. Some of the things I was particularly noticing “Now” on the way to Atlanta today: the smell of the brackish water in the overflows of the Tennessee River, the fresh green fragrance of pine trees, the sun beaming down 100° rays to give me a radiant glow, the odour of grilling meat as I passed a hamburger stand, a paper mill near Rome, a little kid waving furiously at me from in front of an old church, the cooling water of someone’s lawn sprinkler that sprayed out onto the road, and clean fresh air the majority of the drive. With the top down the elements of nature are right there with you, not processed through an air conditioner or filtered through glass. As a society many of us have become isolated to the minutiae of what is outside our homes and offices. It’s easy to keep in touch with no roof on the vehicle.

And in towns people talk with you. Often they roll down their windows, to say something about the car, ask directions, or just to say hello. One of my favourite comments came from a guy driving a dually pickup in Virginia Beach. It was early one morning and he put down his window to say it looked like we were really styling that day. :-)

Lately I've been paying attention to Living in the Now. It's a great place to be.

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