I took the highway most of the way to New England, but about 2/3 of the way through New York, I got off the toll road and onto the back roads, and it was the best decision I ever made. And this, too, is life. Sometimes getting out of the fast lane and taking a more leisurely pace through life is exactly the best thing.
No, I didn't take a GPS. But I did take an outdated atlas. :) So I figured out - as I went - which roads to look for and how to get across each state - and the road I took out of New York and into Vermont led me straight through the Green Mountain National Forest.
It was as beautiful as I'd always heard it would be.
There's a spot on the side of the road where, on a clear day, you can see for 100 miles. It wasn't a clear day, but since (true to form) someone had built a store across the street, I stopped. I got maple syrup and maple sugar candy (and one piece did actually make it all the way home!) and a couple of post-cards that I will probably never actually get around to mailing. And I just stood there - in the rain - and looked.
And as I drove through the mountains, and simply soaked in the beauty of God's creativity displayed in the trees and rocks and skies around me, I felt myself slowly becoming myself again. Recklessly and ontologically me. At least for a couple of hours. I caught myself smiling for no reason at all. Came close to almost thinking nothing at all.
It was heavenly, resting while driving. And this is why I do it. I do love to travel, tho 12-14 hours a day in my car does feel like overdoing it a bit. But the peace that comes in those moments when it's just me and God and we're not working on anything or talking thru any issues, but just resting in the fact that He loves me and I love Him, and I'm in awe again of the God who paints with this kind of passion and creativity - it's totally worth it.