Saturday, September 19, 2015


Fallen Feather, Jamestown, NC

Wanderlust for the Hero's Journey

I’ve had a wanderlust with automobiles since I was just a kid growing up in central Kansas. My uncle drove up in a new dark navy Olds Rocket 88 one day and I immediately recognized that this sculpted Adonis on wheels was the perfect fusion of art and engineering. I couldn’t wait for the day when I could drive a car and begin the Hero’s Journey. In the meantime, I probably added a hundred miles or so to the family car driving it up and down our driveway. Since then, I’ve easily logged well over a million miles behind the wheel of these modern chariots.

My friend and I made a daring escape away from the driveway and around the block in our sleepy neighborhood one sunny afternoon. As luck would have it, a friendly policeman noticed the probability that the driver of my dad’s car was sitting on a pillow to see over the dashboard. He pulled us over and asked if I had a driver’s license. I’m pretty sure that he already knew the answer. Fortunately, I was contrite enough and he was forgiving enough to follow us back into my parent’s driveway with my assurance that I wouldn’t venture out again until I was old enough to have a license—and no longer needed a pillow!

One of the milestones of my life was the day my father helped to finance my first automobile. It wasn’t the convertible that I had coveted, but it was a Ford Victoria hardtop that I quickly began to customize. The convertible with a teenager behind the wheel would have been trouble anyway. Ironically, I recently paid more for a lawnmower than that first car that sparked a lifelong love affair with these machines! A car has always represented more than basic transportation for me. I’ve owned a variety of automobiles since then and I’ve always taken pleasure in detailing them on a cool Saturday morning in the fall. There’s nothing like driving a car that’s been cleaned and shined on a bright fall weekend day. I swear that they have more energy—just like a kid or pet dog that has just emerged from a bath!

This September Saturday morning was no different than many others. The air was cool, the sun was shining and only a slight breeze stirred the trees. I was putting the finishing touches of a liquid shine on the hood of my car. The metallic surface was reflecting the blue Carolina sky like a clear Blue Ridge Mountain lake. And then a very petite and fragile feather drifted ever so silently out of the sky and landed ever so softly right in front of me. As you may know, feathers are a sacred universal symbol of flight, serving as messengers between this mortal world and the other side of the thin veil. Their primary message is that “all is well.” And on a glorious fall morning in September, how could life be anything else?

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