American Dream – Freedom

This may be viewed as totally selfish, out of touch with reality, and essentially seeking sympathy for the loss of an American Dream.  Empathy perhaps, never ever sympathy.

My seventeen-year-old Jeep Cherokee was not a planet wrecking, gas-guzzling, monstrosity, she was fuelled by LPG. In England, such autos are titled ‘she’, rather the ‘it’! ‎ I think in the Netherlands they are labelled ‘he’.

When I could drive my All American Jeep Cherokee Orvis, I felt free.  Not from loved ones, but freedom to journey anywhere regardless of the weather. No barriers, no limiting influence, just inspiration and a drive in the countryside; narrow lanes, with the objective of getting ‘lost’. Exploration.


The photo of my Cherokee was taken at the top of a hill outside Winchester; spectacular views, famous because there is no noise intrusion;  sound of a freeway.

Nearby there is woodland and at this time of year, Spring and early summer,  bluebells carpet the ground in a display of vivid blue. A pure gem of serenity, Unless actually witnessing in person, this ‘magic carpet’ it is challenging to feel total rapport with Nature and her beloved bluebells. ‎ And those viewing such a glorious sight never forget the experience. Bluebells seem to be in perfect harmony with woodland. They thrive and brighten the day. When tree leaves appear, eventually filtering sunlight, the bluebells bow their heads in gentle ceremony, saying goodbye until the following year. Something to look forward to.

Driving along country lanes, small villages; houses with thatched roofs, perhaps a small inn, serving as a centre for villagers to meet for a drink. Probably English ‘real-ale’; chemical-free and healthy in moderation.

Having to part with my Jeep was unpleasant, to say the least. Other Jeep owners will be able to rezonate with giving up not only the Cherokee, but the freedom to go anywhere and the pure joy of diving. Starting her up; wonderful sound! And driving through a tunnel, opening the windows to enjoy a muted roar!

Life goes on. Many will wonder what the hell am I moaning about! But I have been driving since I was about 16 – motor scooter and later in 1967 Volkswagen Beetle and onwards until around 2018.

I also learned that positivity really does help. Fact.

The story describing my ‘Jeep journey’ is featured on Carol Campos’ The Divine Breadcrumb. Essentially I experience a few ‘focal seizures’ – a type of epilepsy without shakes and foaming mouth. But to an observer, rather strange. Confirmed after an extensive evaluation in the hospital.  Never driven since, but that safeguards my family and everyday road users‎.‎ When in hospital for two nights (great food!) a standard blood test revealed I had prostate cancer. A bit of a double shock. The good news is radio therapy and hormone injections (yes I can empathize with women experiencing hot flushes!!). All is well! I also learned that positivity really does help. Fact.

Fortunately, I live in a location where within a few minutes walk one is blessed by beautiful countryside, hills, rivers, downs, dales, and moors. ‎ A walker’s paradise. The proximity to the natural world graces senses, facilitating a feeling that there is no contest; a walk on the bright side.

‎Realizing the truth that my ‘truck’ driving days were over, other aspects of life have replaced the vacuum and void. Walking.  Voluntary community activities and being an Exhibition Steward at Winchester Cathedral’s award-winning Kings and Scribes – Birth of a Nation.  And welcoming visitors from all over the world to one of Britain’s greatest and most famous icons.

‎Now that ends a most dramatically selfish story,  but a true one.

Do I ever look back at the Jeep days? Yes of course. Sitting concluding this essay, I feel fortunate in being able to enjoy the countryside more than ever.

The conclusion:  At the time, enduring what I considered a total loss of freedom, loss of a Jeep, and being downhearted was replaced by a new and vivid dimension of life.

Ultimately, a new freedom visited me. Absorbing the good vibes of Nature and the Universe and engaging with people from local community to having the honor of being an Exhibition Steward at the 1000-year-old Winchester Cathedral’ Kings and Scribes Exhibition.

No limits. Pure joy. Positivity works. Fact.

Walk on the bright side.


Simon Lever
Simon Lever
Prior to his retirement, Simon engaged in software and services sector search and recruitment for American companies around Europe. He has retained the enjoyment of engaging with people from other countries and cultures. His energies are now directed towards voluntary community activities, journaling, and exhibition stewardship. He is a Featured Contributor for BizCatalyst 360°. As an Exhibition Steward, at the 1000-year-old Winchester Cathedral, he is responsible for guiding visitors from the world over, around the award-winning 'Kings and Scribes Exhibition', which includes the 900-year-old Winchester Bible. The exhibition introduces visitors to Winchester's historical significance as a former capital of England. Simon's journaling activities are published on BizCatalyst 360° and accompanying posts on LinkedIn, He acknowledges the inspiration afforded him by Carol Campos of Massachusetts: Life Strategist, Writer, and Intuitive Business Leader who introduced him to writing with feeling; from the heart. Simon's forté is creative writing; the accent on the natural environment, transforming feelings, emotions, sights, sounds, and scents of Mother Nature's landscape; hills and rivers and woodland into words, transporting the reader to the locations. Essays include accounts of his life in former days. Instinctively writing in such a spontaneous manner, descriptions become life-like. His often emotionally charged writing, whether describing a surreal 'Son et Lumière' at the Grand Place in Brussels to experiences acquired during European business travel. Journaling and Exhibition Steward activities are his key sources of inspiration and creativity. Kindness is ever more important, where he is a promoter of Shelly Elsliger PPCC's 'Decide to be Kind' Campaign. Simon champions Positivity, Empathy, and Kindness and has been described as a 'Beacon of Positivity'.

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  1. Dear Byron,

    Thank you for reading my essay. It seems there is synergy regarding trucks and bugs! My 1967 6 volt Beetle was built better than any Mini or similar price vehicle. £575!! A Maserrati airhorns would dim the headlights if used at night! I was always playing Bob Dylan Cds!

    In te early seventies I purchased another Beetle which eventually regretted selling. There was also a ‘certificate’ stating it was the 15 millionth + Beetle manufactured.

    Vehicles do ‘contain’ memories; usually happy ones.

    My best regards,


  2. A beloved vehicle as metaphor for a life passage, I like it Simon. We all have some inanimate object that served us well, and that passed from our lives as we entered a new stage. Often it’s a vehicle of some kind, something that took us from place to place in reality. My talisman was a Volkswagen ‘bug’ that I traded for a (sexier, chick-magnet) MG convertible. Looking back, I wish I’d kept the VW! Always a story there as well.

    Thanks for sharing.