Four years ago, my truck was totaled in an accident. The insurance company said the accident was my fault. I was convinced that I was "innocent." I've spent much of my life trying to convince myself that I'm innocent.
With the "death" of my beloved truck came the intuition that I was not going to "re-up" on the car ownership thang. That Life had something else in store for me. This was to be the first time in 26 years (1/2 my years on the planet!) that I would not own a car! And I have'nt gone back.
A freeing experience.
As I let go of my attachment to my truck, I was able to listen more to Life's calling. I relaxed into the work that called to me, waaay more than about 1/2 of the work I had been engaged in at that time. Not having the truck (a symbol of my previous work) actually freed me up to lean more into my counseling practice, my music, and the groups that I facilitate. My real joys.
I just had to let go of being in the
"driver seat" to recognize it.
I see how identified we are with our cars. The thought of being without our car can be quite scary. It's like loosing a limb. It's a huge symbol for freedom. The thought that we can go anywhere anytime we like is a sweet one. The car is a symbol of safety. If we need to get away from someone, we've got our car. An emergency? We're good. Homeless, we've got a roof.
Yet like relying only on the contents of a book to tell us about the Great Mystery, when we rely on "our" car as our "vehicle" for freedom and safety we can easily miss the direction Life is inviting us into. Letting go of my car was one of the most freeing invitations from Life that I've ever stepped into.
Opening to the Mystery
Just the other day, a friend of mine, who was heading to Santa Rosa, gave me a lift to an appointment I had.
I felt excitement at the mystery of how Life would carry me home. After my appointment, I had a wonderful, brisk walk for a couple miles. While on a route I had taken hundreds of times, who do I find on the side of the path but a djembe drummer, jamming with great passion, while listening to a metronome. As a djembe drummer myself, I was enthralled, listening to his great groove.
Now, I had never crossed path's with a drummer on this route, but what followed was a very inspired conversation and a ride in his comfy car to Sebastopol. Magical. If I had fallen back into the "known" of car ownership, I would not have been open to the Magical Mystery Tour.
Before letting go of my truck, when planning a trip, I never considered the journey ("flower-smelling" and the like). The car was in the driveway. That was the journey. Done. Now, when I have somewhere to go, just by the very nature of not having the car in the driveway, I get excited as to how Life will provide, which in turn, opens me to recognizing when and how Life is inviting me to it's "Tour".
It's always a Grande Adventure!!!
In this day when we are becoming ever more aware of how we isolate ourselves, I see just how much car ownership can be another way that we do this. We're in a box, most often by ourselves.
I'm not promoting the end of cars. I'm inviting you to look at how your attachment to your car actually limits the thing that you identify it with; FREEDOM.
There are multitudinous ways to get around. I love carpooling. We save money (big time!), pollute less (way less), share costs (give a few bucks to the driver), hang out with friends (old or new), & help with directions. Remarkable, how when there is nothing else but you, the road, and a friend, just what can be shared.
I live near a bike path. I ride a recumbent bike; it's more comfortable, faster, and safer than upright bikes. Believe it! I occasionally take a bus. I walk a lot. I do much of my work out of my home. All of this contributes to a slower, more peaceful life.
If you want to talk about the being car-free, give me a shout. My window's open. Let's go for a walk.