There are advantages to having a baby. Anders Knox is adorable, giggly, and a genius (in my unbiased opinion). He makes life more fun and more meaningful. But one thing I didn’t expect about having is a baby is the way life would slow down.
Even though I’m back at work and we’re in the throes of a crazy busy summer, something about Anders has changed the tempo of life. My priorities have shifted, my dreams have recalibrated. I’ve been forced into a calmer, more carnal place.
This calm has caused me to do things I’ve never done before. Like intentionally getting lost in the country wilderness.
Every once and a while I take the long (long, long) way home when I pick up Anders after work. He needs a good nap before his next feeding at 6:00 and I need an opportunity to take a breath.
Paved roads won’t do. Highways won’t cut it. In true farm-boy fashion, my son takes his best naps while bouncing and jostling around on dirt roads.
Such thoroughfares aren’t hard to come by near our dairy.
Usually my life is all about productivity. Efficiency. Get the job done, get there quickly, move on to the next thing. But these early evening drives with my son (and occasionally my furry firstborn even joins us) force me to slow down. While Anders peacefully snoozes, I drink in the impossibly big blue skies and rolling green hills. We bask in the middle-of-freaking-nowhere.
Last night was one such night. The A-man needed a nap and the clouds were breathtaking. We left civilization behind and turned onto a long dirt road near our house. I leisurely cruised through the deep ruts and gullies left by a recent rain, pausing every so often to snap a photo.
We drove through leafy tunnels.
We said hi to the neighbors.
We checked on the corn.
We were rendered speechless by this ridiculous sky over the silage pack.
I could have been home cooking dinner, doing laundry, or mopping the floor. But instead, I’m was awe. In awe of the size of the sky. In awe of the peaceful isolation of these dusty back roads. In awe of the sweet baby boy snoring in the backseat.
My former city girl self found catharsis in concrete, steel, skyscrapers, and the hustle of humanity. I still love those things. But now my soul also does somersaults for muddy roads, cornfields, cows, and the silence of the wind.
And that’s certainly worth a car wash (or three).
4 thoughts on “Getting Lost on Dirt Roads”
Thanks for sharing your fabulous pictures! I, too, grew up in suburbia, then moved to Montana when a yound adult. I fell in love with the country. Moved to Idaho and lived in a rustic cabin, moved to Alaska and BUILT a cabin. Love the skies, the wilderness, the animals…so much to see if one just looks. And having once visited Minnesota, it was cool to see the cornfields and thousands of lakes everywhere. Love reading your posts. “Get lost” takes on a new meaning, doesn’t it?
Wow, Jane. What a life trajectory you’ve had! There is something so beautiful about the country wilderness, eh? Thanks for commenting!
I love getting lost on the back roads and the country dirt roads. I grew up in the city and didn’t realize what I was missing until I went to college.
It used to drive me crazy when DM would take the “long way” to get somewhere (aka intentionally getting lost on dirt roads) because I was always so eager to GET THERE. But over the years I’ve learned that it can be so peaceful to leave the agendas and to-do lists and slow down long enough to get lost. I’m glad you understand!