Coffee in the cup-holder, books to sell piled in the passenger seat, and down coat over layers of clothes (down to the season’s first outing for the cuddle-duds), I headed west early this morning. The sun was bright, the sky clear, and the air void of any warmth whatsoever. I turned up the music, pushed down the gas petal, and flew soon enough past the usual Lawrence-to-Topeka jaunt, then through the northern wrap-highway of Topeka, to where the land begins to ungulate, rise and drop, widen and round: the mythic and present Flint Hills.
I was on my way to give a talk on Jubilee — what we release and learn from, embrace and start fresh and alive with, beginners all of us at each moment — at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manhattan. Michael, my old friend of 20 years — lost for a while due to the wild weather of both our lives — was the minister of this very fine congregation, and soon enough I would be standing in front of people in a lovely and sacred space, framed by windows leading to woodland and prairie, slope and ridges, soon enough, but for now, I was driving and in that happy-driving-music where space becomes a good friend just as I speed through it.
Easy enough to cultivate such appreciate especially when that space is made of reddened grasses, wide bowls of horizons, blue bright sky, all shining together in the centering of one of the shorter days of the air.