Why I Enjoyed My Nighttime Drive From Austin To Houston
Last night, from about 10:30 PM until maybe 1:30 AM, I drove back to Houston from Austin. My wife is out-of-town visiting family and I had Thanksgiving dinner in Austin with a friend. I took Highway 290 to get to Austin and back.
I enjoyed my ride home.
Here is why I enjoyed this ride—
1. I had three hours alone to think.
2. It was mostly cloudy. I liked looking at the light of towns and cities in the distance reflected by the clouds. I’m not saying people are always best in the abstract, but it is good to have a mix of actual human contact and a more remote consideration of the human condition.
3. I was glad not to be robbed or to stumble upon a robbery-in-progress when I stopped at an all-night gas station at midnight to get something to drink.
4. I was able to contemplate the road I was driving on as agent of communication between people. The road is an extension of our natural desire to go other places and to see other people.
5. Consistent with the point above , I thought about how the road was built by people, yet how it also bended to the topography. Terms like “natural” and “artificial” don’t really have clear meanings in many ways.
6. I liked the intermittent flashing lights on the electrical towers, radio transmission towers, and cell phone towers. Though these towers often stand isolated in remote places, they are in fact necessary to facilitate all sorts of communication between people.
7. I felt active and alert while driving and thinking, yet I felt removed from the world out in the night at a late hour. I found this to be a good state of mind.
It is helpful to have breaks from the routine of life. Such breaks can allow for reflection, for new thoughts, for the updating of long-standing ideas, and for renewed commitment to ideas that are of personal importance or that are of personal interest.