Tonight, as I was driving home from work, I navigated around a truck stopped dead in the Lowry Hill tunnel. I thought about how reliable my car has been and for how long it has been that reliable. It’s twelve years old. I know it won’t run much longer. But I have so many memories of sitting behind that wheel that when it’s time for me to give it up, I will be ending a chapter in my life. It is not just a hunk of metal; it has quite literally been my vehicle for transformation. That car has moved me into all of my adult, single girl apartments. It’s taken me to weddings and funerals, job interviews and performances. It has saved me on winter streets, and it has sheltered me when I have needed to gather my thoughts and had nowhere else to turn. It’s taken me north, south and east across this country. Since the first time I slid in behind the wheel, it’s been my ticket to freedom.
I have often taken it for granted, like this morning, when I stumbled out of my apartment, half asleep. I rested my coffee mug on its hood as I juggled my bags into the passenger’s seat. I turned the ignition and was on my way. I was so certain that it would start that it didn’t even occur to me to be grateful. However, tonight I am, and for the next couple of months, I will be even more grateful still. Each day saying a moment of thanks as I pull into my parking spot, remove my key and amble safely into my home.