Lonely Southern Roads in the Middle of the Night

24 Mar

An oddity of living in the South is how far away things are, how far one has to drive if one lives in the country. The nearest city to my home is about half an hour going the speed limit.

I should take the time to inform everyone that more often than not, people in the South seem to ignore the speed limit and go whatever speed they deem necessary.

I don’t have the kind of money to spend on traffic violation tickets, so I obey the law and go the speed limit. Despite the taunts of others saying I drive “like a grandma,” no speeding tickets have accumulated on my record, nor have I caused any traffic accidents.

Most of my friends live at least 20 minutes away. That’s a lot of driving to do, especially considering the round trip I have to make back home.

But I don’t mind driving, especially out in the country, and most especially late at night. Driving after midnight on the old country roads is an interesting experience.

Some people may feel nervous at the idea of driving alone in the wee hours of the morning. What you really see when the veil of night has fallen over the world is a different world altogether, a peaceful world where things are stiller than normal and the people and creatures who are awake march to the beat of a different rhythm, of a different drum.

The lonely Southern roads in the middle of the night are really the only time I’m alone.

And I’m fine with that.

My late-night drives are when God and I get to know each other a lot better. I can rock out to the radio, sing as loudly as I want, and pray and say what I need to, unbeholden to anyone else, to anyone’s judgment, to any thought patterns or energies or any rhetoric from outside sources.

The world of night is beautiful. Sometimes, it’s cold, sometimes, rainy, sometimes, sweltering, and I would really be upset if I had a breakdown at nighttime and had to wait on someone to come get me. No scenario, it can be said, is perfect.

But on those late-night drives, I have a deeper sense of myself, a deeper sense of the world, a deeper knowing of why I’m alive. I feel free, free to explore the mystery of the rolling hills, the lakes, the stars in the night sky, and the distant mooing of yet wakeful cows.

Yes, even cows stay awake late. Ever heard of a night cow?

If you ever have a chance to drive the lonely roads of the South, do it. You may just find yourself, find God, find something more.


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Posted by on March 24, 2010 in food


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5 responses to “Lonely Southern Roads in the Middle of the Night

  1. Doc

    March 24, 2010 at 3:10 am

    There’s a marvelous opportunity for introspection, on those late-night country drives. And it IS very liberating. When my mom was first diagnosed with ALS, before moving her back to Oklahoma City, she was still living at her home in Borger, TX – that’s about 45 minutes northwest of Amarillo. Many things took me to Amarillo and back, and those were golden opportunities. To grieve. Things being how they were, I did all I could to keep a good face on things, for Mom, to keep her spirits up. This wasn’t always easy, as Mom’s condition deteriorated. And being the sort of person I am, I couldn’t help looking at the future, my life with a Mom-shaped hole in it. I used those drives to deal with those feelings – often enough, I wept, I screamed… I grieved… I dealt with it all. There are few enough opportunities to be, unabashed and unadorned, the people that we are. Driving those late-night country roads… I’m very grateful for them.

    • enamouredslave

      March 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      Exactly. I’ve screamed, laughed, and cried in those moments by myself. I’ve also had anxiety along with intense spiritual experiences.

  2. ir5usanne

    March 25, 2010 at 11:26 am

    So true, so true! Late night was always my favorite time to drive in the south. Not much distraction, you truly can find yourself, your sense of being. Now, though, I have trouble seeing as well at night. I guess it is in the genes of females in our family. I always misunderstood the before, as I tended to drive better at night. Now I understand. I, too, drive the speed limit (“like a grandma”) because I don’t want aticket, and because it’s so much calmer not rushing all the time. Enjoying the ride is nice.

    • enamouredslave

      March 25, 2010 at 7:14 pm

      My sight hasn’t diminished, though I do have a problem with windshields that I can never seem to get clean- and the glare of light on those is terrible.

  3. Van Tilden

    March 26, 2010 at 5:43 am

    you captured that perfectly. it is an amazing feeling.


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