Interstate 99 South. You're only driving to another town to see a new doctor. It's just 45 minutes from home, but you're all alone, and in mother time, 45 minutes is an eternity of quiet space.
You leave one town and enter another--county after county--and when you crest that hill, the tree line looks like day-old stubble on a smooth white face of a mountain. At the throat, a little town of houses warmed by wood-burning stoves exhales.
You can take in the whole county in one glance. You imagine all the lives lived there.
You remember other road trips: stretches of highway promised, in the distance, hopes and dreams and greater versions of you. You were young and fresh, and you believed that happiness was just over the mountain.
But not today. Today, the older and wiser you holds the wheel. You know that happiness was never outside of you. It was never down the road in some other town, in some other life. It was always inside of you quietly waiting its turn to reveal itself--if you welcomed it.
By the time you reach the doctor's office, you're already healed.
Journal: Is happiness something we find outside of ourselves--in our circumstances?