In Goldie Hawn's 2005 autobiography A Lotus Grows in the Mud she writes of driving down the California freeway in her '59 Chevy convertible towards the Mojave Desert on her way to Las Vegas .
She describes the extraordinary landscape with its 'rolling hills, parched brown by the summer sun, a few palm trees dotting the horizon. The wind is in my hair, the radio is now playing "Mr. Tambourine Man" by the Byrds and I feel so free."
She captures beautifully the possibilities of youth where worry and pain have not settled into the heart and optimistic eyes eagerly take in the happiness all around.
As my summer comes to a close and I prepare for another school year, I find myself reflecting on the summer that was. And the happiest moments, the moments that brought about youthful possibilities, are reminiscent of this passage from Goldie's (surprisingly good) book.
Namely, taking a drive in my '08 Volkswagen Convertible with the top down while listening incessantly to the impossible to find, but recently re-released on CD, first album by The Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt.
Funny how easily singing harmonies to songs that were recorded in 1967 can ease my spirit, calm my mind. Is that the power of music or the power of memory? Both are tied to the sun, the wind, the smell and the slower pace of summer.
I am beginning my 13th year as an educator and this was the 3rd summer that I availed myself of that enviable perk - two months off! Although I didn't get to spend it as I had planned, it was still wonderful to have time to just be; to read, to sleep, to write.
Each year I tell myself to hold onto this feeling when the chaos starts again. When I have deadlines, papers to write, meetings and my 4 hour (door to door) daily commute which sometimes causes me to walk around rather heavy lidded.
But like Goldie, I am driving towards my happiness and my calling in life. What better destination could there possibly be for any of us than that?