Cars and Windows

I think cars are meant to be driven with the windows down.

Sure it’s more convenient to drive with them up. Your hair doesn’t get tangled up or fly in your face. You can more easily control the temperature and it’s easier to hear things either people you’re traveling with are saying or the lyrics your favorite songs.

But you miss the wind unexpectedly blowing in cool breezes or the sounds of the landscape you’re passing through.

Most importantly, you’re missing the smells. You miss the piney smell of the mountain forest and the dry fresh smell of expansive grassy fields. You miss the smell of the rain and the wet pavement and soil. You miss the salty ocean and the aromatic wildflowers and lands rising from the ashes of wildfires.

Even in the cities, you miss the smell of freshly made food or coffee. And in the suburbs, the smell of green lawns freshly watered and grills or backyard fire pits.

You also miss the smells of the refineries, the waste management facilities, the stink of trash or the sickly odor that hangs around homeless camps due to the lack of accessible restrooms, showers, washers and truly: housing. But these smells are important too because it reminds us of the reality of our world. That there is great pain and loss. That there are things we still need to fix or improve in order to better steward this beautiful place we call home. If we keep our windows rolled up it’s too easy to ignore the evidence of our broken world that we drive through daily.

But of course, we miss the beauty. The beauty of the small, simple everyday things life offers us to put a smile on our faces. The small things that are steady and unwavering in a world we often perceive as chaotic and uncontrollable.

If only we’d roll down our windows and give up control over our perfectly molded hairstyles which can be repaired upon arrival at our destination, to embrace the small glories we so often pass over without a second glance.

Even if it’s just for a moment, drive with the windows down.

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