It’s more beautiful than what I remember and I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I am enjoying my time in Virginia this week. While writing this, I’m sitting in the front seat of a Greyhound bus on my way from Lynchburg to Washington, D.C.. I thought we would be on a major highway and instead our large bus has been weaving its way along a single-lane country road, up and down hills and small mountains. Along both sides are towering white-bark trees, white and grey with no leaves since it’s the middle of winter. The sky is that soft blend of charcoal grey with white swirls. It lays flat across the sky likes mounds of quilted blanket spread out. Old houses from eras past dot the landscape amidst the trees and evergreens and out on the open fields where sometimes I see cattle and other times I see horses. So far I’ve seen all variety of fences – white picket, rough-hewn logs, bare brown planks, or black crisscrossed boards.
It’s really beautiful. Leaving Lynchburg early this morning, I changed buses in Charlottesville to get my connecting bus to D.C.. It will take a total of five hours to arrive there. This is the first time I’ve taken the bus in the North East. After recently been in Europe for eight months, it’s interesting to compare the public transportation in the United Sates to that of other countries. A lot of the pros and cons are honestly the same. The best part is still the time on my own to think and contemplate things while enjoying the joy and adventure of new scenery. Enjoying the journey is such an enriching experience. Another benefit and favorite of mine is meeting new people who are different from me.
The country road from Charlottesville still has occasional signs on it that read “Constitution Route”. We actually just passed another one at this very moment, which makes me realize that this route probably goes all the way to D.C. Even before I read this, I had images in my mind of civil war soldiers in these forests and battles that were fought long ago in the still bare fields. Men on horseback raced along this very same route even before our United States Constitution was written and when the Revolutionary War raged in these lands. I love how the trees look and I notice that there are so many more trees out here on the East coast of America than in Colorado and many parts of the country further west. It’s thickly forested. The route is rich with historic sites, like James Madison’s home, Montpelier. One park we just passed had Civil War cannons sitting out in an open field.
On the first part of the journey from Lynchburg to Charlottesville, my bus was driven by Terry Jenkins. He’s a friendly older gentleman that loves to meet people and enjoy great conversation. We talked the whole way about how much he loves traveling and his job and has done it for over eighteen years. He’s lived in Europe and visited other parts of the world and is happy with his life because he’s doing what he loves. And I think, after having talked with him during that time, that’s he’s happy with himself.
Traveling never ceases to surprise me and enrich me, grow me. It seems to remind me so powerfully of the what the really important things are in life and in this world. It helps me keep an eye on my priorities and even though I travel alone lately, it reminds me that I am not alone in this world. As different as we all are, we also have a lot in common and can relate to each other a lot more than what we usually think. Travel reminds me of things like that. And it makes me enjoy being alone and yet not feel lonely in that solitude and singleness. Does that make any sense to you?