Retro Relief

photo of volkswagen kombi on unpaved roadWhen I was a little girl I remember my grandparents talking about their regular Sunday Drives. Although I understood the concept I really couldn’t understand the attraction. Why would anyone want to just drive around rather aimlessly just to drive around? To my way of thinking, one got in the car to go somewhere specific for a specific purpose, such as driving to the store, a friend’s house, or a vacation spot. I guess I was not alone in that assessment, as for the most part, the Sunday Drive tradition essentially died with my grandparents’ generation. Successive generations were way too busy, too goal oriented, and sporadically too gas conscious to consider such an activity worthy of their time and interest. Until now…

Last Sunday afternoon my husband and I revived that old tradition. Though I confess that it was more by happenstance than actual intent. But no matter how or why it happened it was absolutely wonderful! Since we have been working from home and following all the appropriate protocols of social distancing, we were feeling a bit cabin-feverish (an emotional rather than a physical condition).

We decided that we would order take-out at The Vanilla Bean, a cool little local spot in Pomfret, CT. We pre-ordered and paid by phone and then were instructed to text them when we arrived. They delivered it to our car window. Since it was such a beautiful sunny day, we decided not to simply return home but to (you guessed it) take a Sunday Drive throughout that beautifully pastoral countryside. We ended up at Bigelow Hollow State Park where we drove to a gorgeous spot by the lake and parked for a picnic. We did not get out of the car or even roll the windows down yet enjoyed such a lovely view and lunch. Upon leaving the park, we meandered a bit and found our way home by a different route, thanks to our Waze GPS app.

There was nothing earth shattering or wildly exciting about our trip. But the lift it gave our spirits was beyond measure! We both felt rejuvenated and joyful after “getting out of Dodge” for a bit, all the while being faithful to our social distancing guidelines. Sometimes we can learn a lot from practices of the past. While technology continues to be an important tool for us as we work to “flatten the curve” of the pandemic, we might also consider some very low-tech tools. Take a Sunday or Tuesday or Friday drive.

Pack or pick-up a picnic. See all the beautiful signs of springs (a robin, peepers, forsythia, and daffodils in early bloom) while coasting through the countryside. Give yourselves the boost of seeing that God’s creation keeps on going regardless of the pandemic – all without leaving the safe confines of the car.

As Job in 12:7-10 was reminded when he forgot the wonders of God’s creation “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”

Who knew such an “old fashioned” idea would work so well? God did…



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