Freedom.  I felt it.  My mind was empty of all worries and my soul felt like it could fly.  Freedom.  I could taste it.  I could feel it.  I was alive.

Such a simple thing we too often take for granted.  Hop in the car and run get groceries or run to the bank or, oh yeah, i forgot to get salt...hup, in the car, turn the key and seconds later you have what you need.  Driving brings with it freedom and simplicity.  Everything is easy when it takes no effort to achieve, which having a car affords us.

I miss driving.  I mean, I sincerely miss it.  Whenever I used to feel down or discouraged or happy or high, I'd jump in my car, turn on some music depending on my mood, and drive...sometimes to my favorite quiet spot, sometimes shopping, sometimes just take whichever road I first passed.  It always made me feel good, driving, especially out on open Wyoming roads.

Since living in Europe, having a car has been a luxury in place of a necessity.  The first year I lived in Nederland, I had no vehicle.  I did have a bike and public transport, and came to rely upon both to get me where I needed to go.  When I was in active labor with Jari, we got our first car.  Erwin still took the train to work and I had use of the car, but still tended to bike or walk, especially with a newborn and stroller, it was easier to just walk.  But, still, the car was always at my beckoning call, and I was free to use it at my every whim.

When we moved to Belgium, the car came with us.  Erwin's transportation became a bus service which left at the ungodly hour of 5:30am, but he was always home early.  I still had the car, and it became useful for me as I explored our new home, Belgium, Limburg, as well as keeping in touch with old friends in Holland.  In our corner of Belgium, public transport is present (busses, no train), and it's round the clock available, but getting places is almost a chore.  In what would be a 20 minute drive, it takes me  more than an hour by bus.  Just saying...

But back then, I still had the car and was still free to come and go as needed, though I still used my bike for the short distance trips, as I came to discover biking is 1) enjoyable  2) fast  3)  gives no parking headache  4) cheaper  and 5)  healthy.  But on those gray and rainy Belgian days (many)  I could still turn the key and come out on the other side safe and dry.

And then, Erwin's bus service quit running.  He needed the car for work, to provide for our family.  It was a necessity for him, and my luxury was stripped from me.  In the blink of an eye, my freedom was gone.  Having a car is freedom, and nobody can tell me differently.  Hop on a bike and feel the wind on your face, yes, it too is freedom, but limited....

And so, I have become a passenger in life where I used to be a driver.   I no longer have transportation to allow me freedom, which I have had since my 16th birthday...

and I have felt crippled without a car.

And Saturday, I had the car, I had the music, I had my two boy passengers and I had freedom.  And boy, did it feel good.


V-Grrrl said...

I didn't have a car for my first two years in Belgium. I know just what you're talking about!

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