I’ve finally decided to take a few weeks for long-overdue rest, relaxation and rejuvenation — 13 days during which I plan to remedy the effects from months of accumulating sleep deprivation, devour a towering stack of unread books that have begun to accumulate dust and, above all, ignore all tweets, emails and phone calls from sources known and unknown.
This time, I won’t be flying toward a tropical paradise, nor will I heed the call, “all aboard,” taking my seat on a locomotive bound for America’s eastern corridor and the promise of witnessing some of nature’s majestic, changing colors of the fall season. Instead, I’m packing up the SUV and heading northbound on the interstate with Detroit as my final destination — the city that, for me, will always be “home.”
Years ago, just the thought of going back to Motown put me in a funk — as if an enormous gray cloud had suddenly taken residence over my head. Things are different now. These days, I’ve actually become more and more excited as the time to depart draws near.
And I won’t be alone, even though I believe everyone should take some occasional “me time” so they can listen to the silence, hear the beating of their heart and give greater attention to those routinely ignored thoughts that have been swirling around in your head. Riding shotgun will be my new sidekick and companion, Baby Girl — my playful, inquisitive, 1-year-old Boxer whose capacity for boundless energy and omnipresent displays of unconditional love and devotion never cease to amaze me.
There’s something to be said about taking time out — allowing for an interlude of isolation away from the noise, the hustle, the bustle and the push and pull of daily life. Black folk in particular should be more attentive and intention about carving out dedicated time for meditation — being silent and listening for the “sounds of silence.”
That’s why I’m so eager to get away and take a pause — entering that physical, emotional and spiritual “special place” where only “me, myself and I” exist. Have you ever had questions or concerns that were so intense, so important so crucial to the decision that awaited you — an answer to “what rode should I take” or “what window should I close?” If you have, then “road trips,” or moments similarly fashioned, allow you to more effectively hear the stirrings of your soul — to hear the murmurings and messages of the ancestors and the Creator.
When we do this, we can snap out of it, wake up, stop wallowing in fear and remember that awesome guarantee and invitation: “Be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10).
It’s time for a road trip! I need to listen to the silence!