Wednesday, March 30, 2016

big magic in the van

I've never been that into cars. Maybe because we never had nice cars growing up. I don't mean that to sound mean, but we really didn't. My parents just didn't seem to care about vehicles. You'd think that would have pushed me to want nice cars but oddly it didn't. Don't get me wrong, I certainly wouldn't refuse a gorgeous new car if it dropped on my lap, but I can't see myself going out and actively seeking one.

I drove my favourite car almost into the ground. A little '88 white Honda Civic. After that I had a Toyota something, perhaps the worst ever car, made just that much more terrible after one of the children threw up in it. Even professional cleaning didn't remove the lingering smell.

Now for the past 5 years I have driving a white Honda Odyssey. A minivan. And freak, I love that thing. So comfy, so smooth. I call it my limousine and I'm only partially joking. I guess that makes me the limo driver but no matter, I love it.

I love the comfortable heated seat. I leave the seat warmer on almost all year round, I find it very soothing to have a heated bum. I love the back up camera even though most of the time it's too dirty to provide useful help. I love the doors that open and close by themselves. I love the fact that I can car pool lots of kids to and from things. Life is so much easier with car pools.

I love my van for allowing me the ease with which I can ferry around swim bags and groceries and track spikes and snacks and endless bottles of water. It takes me to yoga and every day there is an endless pile of loonies for the parking meter. It's not so old that it needs too much upkeep and it's not so new that if someone gets it muddy or dings a door it really matters.

I keep the van pretty clean, for how many people under the age of 13 frequent it every day, and for the fact that we live in a true four season province. But I have to admit, I swooned a little when I found a little plug in essential oils contraption that allows me to open the door now to wafts of "Energy" or "Gratitude." I will admit, it can get a little overpowering, and one day when puffs of smoke were coming off the little pad I freaked out a little and thought I was going to blow myself up, but generally I'm appreciative of the somewhat hippy-dippy smell that permeates the van instead of wet boots.

Even though it's older and doesn't Bluetooth anything I love that I can plug in my phone and listen to music or, more frequently, listen to my new thing, Audible. I can sit in the parking lot at the school and hear Elizabeth Gilbert's soothing voice encourage me to be brave with my writing, and tell me that it doesn't matter one iota if no one cares, listens, or likes it. It doesn't matter, as long as I do it. As long as I search out the big magic that comes with living a creative life, it won't matter how and for what I do it. Only that I do it.

And maybe Elizabeth Gilbert makes me love my van the most. Because she reminds me: I can be exactly who I am, and still be creative. I don't have to change, or be someone else, for this all to be true. And for that, I love my van, for giving me a private quiet place to listen.

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