Raindrops splatter and tap dance across the windshield of a van with Pennsylvania plates. Mother moon has kissed sister sun goodbye and the stars have been called out one by one - 75 South has never felt this smooth, this solemn.
Raspy voices stream seamlessly into the canal of my ear, singing of hair decorated with flowers and shadows on the walls. The man next to me used to be a boy with a clean shaved face and cowboy boots always on hand. With each mile marker we graze past I am reliving his maturation and shifting.
Semis hover too close and sleep plays hide and seek with me - it ever hiding and I ever seeking. It is too dark to read of dysfunctional families in the blackened van's interior and I find my thoughts wandering toward faces and expectations.
Who knew this is what the end of 26 might look like for me - but I am here, riding in a van with a family I no longer live with, but love and miss in a deep, aching chasm sort of way.
Mere months ago a long, darkened trip like this would've led me to think fondly on experiences that did not deserve the pedestal with which I had so gently, so gingerly placed them upon. But this June has brought new breaths of life, new waves of thinking, and the same God to believe in, but with a completely transformed trust to kneel before Him with.
I may remember blue eyes and roughened hands, but with a sense of complete removal - they no longer create longing and loneliness within me - they are simple a part of a past that was the catalyst for my present.
Southbound on 75 and the windshield wipers slap a rhythm only the night can keep time with. Strings and drums and creaks of a voice fill my eardrums and my eyelids flutter and then are left wide open. I can't tell how many miles this white van has laid down, but with each new exit sign up ahead I succumb to the humidity dancing outside of my window and exhale a little easier knowing I can only move toward a mind clearer of lies and confusion.
Each mile marker we graze past I realize I'm less of that little girl who sought so much in places and people who could only give a little. Hallelujah.