Monday, July 02, 2007

The Flavor (or Flavour) Of The Day

Synchronicity. A work, an action, an impulse, that when it works right, it works to perfection.

There are days, rare jewels, in all our lives, where the flow of life sifts over and through all the dynamics, all the free-spiritedness which make up our days, our ordinary, routine, mundane existences, and turns them into that which we never expect, yet truly forever anticipate.

It's only through the grace of God that I write these words, that the thoughts which crowd into my head all day long were determined by a power unlike anything we can possibly imagine. That what we know here, what we see, what we think, how we perceive our world, is a mere sliver of a glimpse, into the powers on the other side. It is as if we've opened the door, but just barely; our hand actually, is on the door handle, a slight pull to reveal what is there, yet we have barely rattled the door lest we believe it has actually opened before us. Sometimes, our arrogance precedes us in every way.

Monday Monday. This day dawned absolutely beautiful. Cool. Not humid, chilly even, 55 degrees on the car thermometer. And this in July! In Pennsylvania! Driving along the road out to Route 6, all is sunny, green, lush, everything summer should be in its full redundancy. As I came to the stop sign here came the dump truck armada with what looked like at least five vehicles behind them, slowly snaking their way up the little hill towards me. With plenty of space to go, I pulled out and watched the line slowly recede in my mirror as the open road stretched out in front of me. How many times does that happen? Hand of God? I'd say.

Traffic was sparse and after I got gas, I pulled onto the entrance ramp to I-84, east. The ramp is long and bends uncomfortably when you drive it too fast, but to the melodic strains of Josh Groban singing the rhapsodic last bars to "Home to Stay", my car floated around the ramp as if seized by the rhythmic strains and in total conformity with its heartbeat.

As the ramp spilled onto the highway itself, the full, last strains to the song ended in perfect harmony to my driving as the empty lanes yawned ahead. It is here where Milford stays hidden in the trees except for the occasional horse farm or hill that appear now and then.

Celtic strains took over and the heavy drumbeat and bewitching sounds of The Sweet filled my car. Again, as I rolled through sun and shade, green and greener, as finally, my silver Saturn descended the rise and turned towards New Jersey, strains of "calling all the people of colour race and creed" created out of Picato Strings, Fender Squire, Korg Keyboards, Line 6 Pod, Soundscape/Sydec Digital Technology and Jeff Brown's delightful voice sounded through the Shure microphone. As the song drifted into its instrumental meditation, I headed east once again, where high hills surrounded me and the vista, here, is beyond extraordinary.

Three states meet at this juncture, NJ, NY and PA -- and nothing this impressive met my eye while living in New England where majestic landscapes seem, surely, second nature.

Nestled serenely today, abounding mostly hidden from our eyes is the Delaware River. Driving over the bridge into New York State, "SweetLife" gave way to "Hell Raiser", whose pulsating frenzy suits the trek up the mountain perfectly.

Four miles to the top and looking out at this most unusual of summer mornings, temps in the 50's, crystal clear see-for-miles tableau, I have my eyes peeled on I-84 going west.

Just before leaving PA a large tractor-trailer painted in the not-to-be-missed purple of "Crown Royal" whiskey passed me going the other way. It occurred to me then, that the race had just concluded in New Hampshire and that those who didn't depart yesterday were making the exodus today and looking for all roads south -- or at the very least, roads west, and then south. Another rig with "CAT" on its side passed by, must be Dave Blaney's (he & I share the same birthday), then something green with "Toyota" emblazoned all across the back, but not Jeremy's I could see, Mayfield being my favorite driver. Another rig with the "07" number of Clint Bowyer all over it, and another large rig all in black with fancy stencil-like logo's on it, which will remain forever lost to me as the trees got in my way.

From the top of the mountain, (Greenville, NY) the view through my rearview mirror is dizzying indeed; as PA seems to rear up at right angles to where I am driving. But, all settles down with the short descent past Exit 2 and then Orange County stretches out pasturally and verdantly with each passing mile.

Mal McNulty is screaming something about "x-ray specs", when the ultimate in RV living drives by going the other way; I see one, then two, then eventually count about 15 RV's in total, all custom, specialty-painted, state-of-the-art RV's, and I wonder which Nascar driver belongs to each one, with their big SUV's in tow behind.

Driving along towards my destination, it occurs to me how lucky we are in this country to just go where we want to go, over bridges, through tunnels, around mountains and down country roads without armed guards or tanks waiting for us along the way. On my drive home as I headed down the mountain toward home, I-84 stretched out like a winding ribbon away, away into the hills ahead.

This Monday was so much more than mere vanilla. Beyond anything blah, and ho-hum, it took on it's own distinct affectations; a little sweetness, some acidity within the workday itself, but, a bittersweet aroma as still the sun flicks off the tallest branches of the trees all around my house.

Right down to pulling into my parking spot at work, and having "Love Is Like Oxygen" stop on the dime as I put my car into park. Who could have ever guessed?

Someone is watching.

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