I was sitting in my friend’s house, and the snow was starting to come down. I was about an hour from home. My friends told me that the roads had been slick earlier in the day and that I shouldn’t feel like I had to drive home. My dad texted me to tell me that I didn’t need to drive home.
I didn’t need to drive, but I needed to prove to myself that I was still a Midwestern, that I could still handle driving in the snow.
My friends helped me clear off my car, and they packed me some snacks. I’d known that the snow was probably going to come, so I’d packed a blanket and an emergency kit in the car when I’d left home that morning… just in case.
I climbed into the driver’s seat and pulled out of the driveway. My friends waved goodbye, after I promised to come back if the roads were really bad.
I took a deep breath in.
I got through the suburban half-cleared roads, moving along with the other drivers who carefully navigated to the highway.
I carefully drove on the snow, and not in the tracks of the car in front of me. I checked my brakes, and slowed down, staying out of the blindspots of trucks lumbering along beside me. The snow was coming down, settling around my wiperblades.
And twenty miles in, as the sun was setting, I realized just how foolish this was.
Why was I on the road?
What did I really have to prove?
Why am I so damn stubborn, even as a born and bred Midwestern?
What if I spun out and slipped off the side of the road?
My memory morbidly flickered to how people who are drunk and drive rarely get injured in an accident because they are so relaxed….and I wondered how I could relax my body, trust my mind and years of experience driving in snow, and let go of worry.
And then I started to sing the Triseragon.
Breathe out: Holy God
Breathe out: Holy and mighty
Breathe out: Holy Immortal One
Breathe out: Have mercy on us
Over and over.
My body relaxed. Breathing in and out. Over and over.
I pulled into my hometown, onto the streets I know in my bones.
The snow crunched under the tires of my car, and then I rev’ed the car up and over the snowbank that was blocking the driveway and parked. Home.
I breathed out. Amen.