Road trips and summer have become synonymous to our family. Summer brings a sense of time and togetherness, despite the hurdles of capturing the most of it between summer camps, sleeping in and football workouts. We have kept our two week stretch of time together sacred. This year is no different, although it feels even more necessary now. The two week time we capitalize on is oddly enough called dead period in the football world where everything, everyone must stop and just be.
If you understand the climate in Memphis right now, tempers are rising around injustice and senseless deaths. It’s heartbreaking. I can’t help but think about the lives of the people I’ve known – Glenn, Terrence, Marcus, Xaviar, and Susan – all who died in just this past year. Their lives were taken too soon by the unsteady hands of cowards holding guns. It is all so unnecessary. Yet, it’s the truth we have to sit in as a community and we have to figure out how to move forward.
It makes me want to bring the people I love closer in and hold on tight as if I can somehow protect them. It’s why I love packing our family of 5 into our 30 ft airstream trailer even more. Sadly, I remember a summer all too well nearly 17 years ago where my life could have been taken too by a young teenager holding a gun against my pregnant belly. As I enter into this summer, I have struggled with the blues. This music city continues to sing some of the saddest songs on repeat. As I navigate the next two weeks of dead week, I will reflect on a lot, but I plan to hit the road looking for blue skies ahead.
That’s the hope isn’t it? That behind every cloud is a silver lining? It’s quite something that my little silver lining has become life on the road in our silver bullet, however short or long the travel may be. It’s the perfect place of peace, comfort and reflection. There will always be clouds hovering, but my faith reminds me the sun burns bright wherever I might be. Today is the present we must open. I’ll likely unwrap each day with some caution, but I expect to find healing in the space of just being.
In living in the extremes of my thoughts, I’m excited that the trip we have planned for this summer is about going big. We will see some of the grandest sights in the world, including the Grand Canyon, the Sequoias, and El Capitan, a giant monolith in Yosemite. We will check the box on seeing 5 National Parks. We will enter every campground blaring some version of AC/DC and rocking life together.
We will live boldly as we see more of God’s creation than we have all seen. We will love big and laugh hard. We won’t be singing the blues these next two weeks if all of our plans fall into place. . .because this trip is all about getting our kicks on Route 66.