A Rise in the Road

Last night, as I was driving home, I turned right onto a busy street. A small, ugly car came up from behind me, zoomed past me and flew over the railroad tracks. In an instant, I remembered a stretch of road in the country that I used to drive on all the time. I used to speed up as I approached a rise in the road, just so I could fly over it.

I used to drive on a lot of country roads, when I lived in a rural area of Illinois. Driving on those flat, narrow roads is one of my favorite parts of living in the Midwest.

There was a perfectly shaped tree on my drive to and from work, right at the edge of a field. I always had this urge to spread a blanket under it and have a picnic or read a book, but I just drove past it every day, spring, summer, fall, and winter. I never did stop under that tree.

Traffic was rare on my drives in the country; my traffic jam was the slow-moving combines driving from field to field. I once rear-ended a feed truck on a snow-packed road; the front of my car was ruined, but the driver of the feed truck didn’t even know he’d been hit. He just kept right on driving, so solid was that vehicle. I learned a lot about driving in the snow on those country roads.

When you are the only car on the road, it’s easy to go fast. Too fast. I got my one and only speeding ticket driving on a lonely country road. I saw the state trooper driving toward me, and knew right away I was going to get pulled over. Sure enough, she turned on her twirling lights.

I know people think driving those roads is too monotonous. I feel differently. I love looking across the flat, flat ground of Illinois, as far as the eye can see.

Season to season, the scenery always changes. In the spring, tiny little green sprouts start to sprinkle the dark, black furrows. In August I drove through corridors of tall, lush corn; in September the stalks start to turn brown, and by the end of October, the fields are completely bare once again. I could see for miles after the harvest; I lived in a college town, and the towers from the university would rise up in the horizon when I was still ten miles from home. In winter, deer graze in the empty fields, among the short brown stubble of old corn crops. Nothing stops the wind in the country. It pushes snow into drifts right before your eyes.

I still live in the Midwest, so I still experience the seasons. Only now, I’m never the only car on the road; I can’t see for miles and miles.

I miss those country roads.

Spin Cycle this week is Free Choice! There are some more great Spins over at Sprite’s Keeper!

7 Replies to “A Rise in the Road”

  1. Absolutely beautifully written! I live in a very urban area where cow pastures are smaller than malls. I sometimes wish for those country roads just so I can experience them. You're linked!

  2. I use to love to speed on the roads back in Illinois. We only had a few rural areas but boy could I get my new Grand Prix speeding up near 100!

  3. This was lovely. I really enjoyed this. I grew up on a country road and could see for miles too. . . well, we had hills, but for the most part I could see miles and miles.I can't believe the guy driving the feed truck never even knew. Do you think he got back to the barn, saw a scratch or two and wondered what he'd hit? :-)This took me back to my own country roads. Thank you. I really needed that today.

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