Thursday, February 09, 2012

Driving Lessons 2: Every Start Has A Stop

What is it about death that frightens many among us? It is the final destination; death is. So even if we know for certain that death is coming, still many of us do not want to reach that destination just yet. There is this Latin phrase: “deficit omne quod nasciture” meaning, ‘Everything that is born, passes away,’ that I’m always reminded of whenever I think about death.

It is the same when you start your car to go on a trip, be it a short or a long journey, every engine start-up must come to an end. Often you find yourself driving with family or friends, people who take the journey with you from and up to a certain point. Sometimes you find yourself driving alone.

In life, like driving you hit traffic signals telling you to stop. Pause a while to consider your journey so far. Take a break from all that driving (or living) and just chill. Even take a break from people who may have taxed us so much, exhausted our capacity to understand and tested our patience and goodwill.

We also reach crossroads which often we are unsure which turn will reap the best rewards. Then there are the milestones; kilometer marks, distance indicators telling us what we have so far attained. These we pass by, yes just pass by for we never really stop in each one or if we do, we never really linger because the journey continues.

There are many road signs in the road of life. They warn us about bad things that could happen. It could be a parent giving advice, a friend with a gut feeling, even our own bodies, telling us of illnesses to come. Sometimes we take heed, slow down and stay alert. Although often we disregard them and blaze on uncaring if we hurt ourselves in the process.

On the road, as in life we get the feeling that somehow we missed a turn or got lost along the way. It is better to get lost with someone than being lost all by yourself. A haunting lyric from an Air Supply song asks, “When you’re lost, where do you begin?” and lets one ponder the next best step to self discovery or simply finding the right direction to seek help.

Even finding the right one can be gleaned from a bit of driving 101. Was that stop you didn’t take the point where you could have met Mr. or Miss Right? Should you have heeded the sign to slow down instead of entering into such a commitment? Sadly, life like driving does not always have a reverse or rewind button. Yes you can probably manage a short reversal on the road but the path you have trodden had already been trod. The words you have spoken had been said. Your actions whether for good or bad have been done. The die is cast. What remains is the road ahead.

You do not stop driving just because someone got off or there’s this huge accident on the road. You even do not give up not when your car had ran out of gas or gotten a flat tire. You find a way to fix the problem and drive on. Life goes on.

So as I start my engine this morning to drive my daughter to school and me to work, I think about the road ahead later today: the way home; where my husband will be too later tonight. So long as there is a home to go to, I shall not give up on driving and discovering new places nor will I stop living my life. No, I do not fear death but for now that is not yet my destination for I am homeward bound.

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