It was the summer of 97 and a new day was awakening with a dazzling sunrise. I was walking by the ocean soaking up the warmth of the sun’s rays and the quiet of the morning. My son had moved down to Florida for the summer and for the first time in years I was free to do anything I wanted. The heat was already beating down and being outside made me drift off. I was daydreaming, thinking about what I would do with my summer. The possibilities were endless and most of them were about a road trip to Saint Simons, a small island off the Georgia coast.
I always dreamed that one day I would like to buy a long black Cadillac convertible. I would find the nearest backroad, let the top down, put some Johnny Cash on the radio and drive. Then maybe when the land flattens out to where the sky seemed endless, turn it up and play Rambling Man by Dickey Betts. I had songs for the road, songs for the night, songs to forget and songs that told me everything would be all right. It was a one of a kind mix CD made for driving, and it covered a broad spectrum from Guns & Roses to Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.
These were some of the songs that were the soundtrack of my life that summer, probably my last summer of being young and spontaneous. Like the story of the wayfarer, I could feel the highway tugging upon my soul whispering to me to take one last sojourn; maybe not a journey of learning but one of reflection. Perhaps I needed to walk again on the sandy driftwood beaches of Saint Simon Island and let the sea wash away my restlessness.
I think all of us that write and play music bare our souls, recklessly sharing our words with the world. Even the artists that paint their pain and joy on a blank canvas fearlessly share the beauty they create. We all, occasionally, need time to walk away for a while.
I seem to have this built-in longing for the road. While I love a quiet place to write and for solitude, often the road tugs hard on me. Beckoning me to let go for a while, buy that Cadillac and find the lost highways one more time.
Point Of View
Sometimes we just need to roll down the window, feel the breeze blowing our hair and turn the music up loud. To a lot of us, the road represents freedom, a freedom found in nothing else we do. The road is forever a place of spontaneity, peace and an opportunity to forget, if only for a moment, and just be.