The back roads of middle Tennessee are especially beautiful in late spring. Everything is lush fueled by big May rains. Plants, bushes and trees poised and ready for the dry, hot, take no prisoner, summer sun of the South.
Traveling on roads like Leipers Fork and Bear Creek road, twisting turning two lanes snaking through ancient lands. Riding with an old friend from Pensacola, and enjoying extensions of the same conversations we’ve had for 25 some odd years now. Sometimes riding in silence for miles, until I hear my friend say “turn here, I wanna see what’s up that road”. Off we go into someone else’s world, peeking into their lives a little but telling us more about our own unquenchable thirst for connection.
Fairview, Santa Fe with a long E, Carters Creek Pike, cattle, long gravel driveways, steelbelts hummin’ on the asphalt as Steve Earle would say ! This is my hometown, American back roads. I know these people, farmers, preachers and warehouse workers. The ones that don’t have it all, the ones that aren’t quite up to snuff on having everything the advertisers say you have to have to be happy!
We drive on, stop at a few markets in between Country songs, put our feet on the ground hear the screen door slap and a slow friendly “howdy” comin’ from inside. Old friends on old roads, traveling, sharing life, sharing Creation. Sharing the things that hold us together.
Harpeth River, Caney Fork Road, leaning tobacco barns, cemeteries in the afternoon shade. Jo’s Kut n Kurl, Tommy’s Tune-em shop. John Deere mailboxes and one room church houses. A glimpse to a past that some don’t remember and most try to forget. It’s heartland, it’s the backbone. The ones to count on, the ones that remember who they are.
I wish were cruisin’ in a big ole Jim T kinda ragtop Cadillac, feeling it sail over these roads like it was meant for them and them alone. But still we are taking whatever turn looks interesting and wandering. We are free. Free of clocks, free of all that we seek to be free from.
A few hours into our little journey, we head east, looking for the signs of home. It will be good to be there and share our stories. It is good to have another set of experiences to laugh about. It’s good to have friends and good to be a friend.