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A long, late drive home always puts me in a contemplative mood. In the darkness, the only things in my line of vision are the lane markers flying by and the occasional tail lights. The road curves but feels mostly straight, and my thoughts start to organize themselves in a more linear fashion.

Moving forward. Driving forth. I think of how strongly I push myself to keep on keeping on. Sometimes, I push myself almost unkindly–keep it together, I say to myself; keep moving no matter what the cost. The journey continues… And yet…

And yet. I realize I haven’t slowed down in a while–slowed down enough to allow for the thoughts other than what’s on my to-do list… for the thoughts I would want to write down and carefully consider.

The very realization is a revelation–an instance of awareness and an opportunity to think and write, right now.

I recall a conversation I had with someone recently, in which I shared being acutely aware of others’ pain that I observe. That feels overwhelming, I said. “I have my own pain–” to which my friend pointed out, “And your own joy.” How very true!

The truth is that I do have much joy in my life. I take stock of it every chance I get; I revel in it, I linger in it, I live it. And the joy and the pain can and do coexist, and when I pause to reflect, it is very apparent that this is exactly what gives my life so much dimension.

Dimension is one thing, and motion is another. Yes, I can act more kindly toward myself as I drive myself forth–and the forward motion is as important as the many dimensions of joy, pain, and everything in-between.

And just like that, the sense of clarity and equilibrium is restored. I look at the road before me–the literal highway–and I smile, knowing that this is exactly where and when I need to be.

Safe journey to us all!