Drivers' Corner - Knight of the Highway

History is destined to repeat itself. At least that is what historians say. However, I am the type of person who usually doesn't learn from history and therefore it repeats itself. Not this time.

"The last startled kiss I gave involved a lot of pain, which has still got a slight bite upon me," I thought to myself, putting away any attempt of a surprise kiss. I just sat watching, staring as the landscape bounced and jetted along.

It felt funny riding as a passenger through the places I was so familiar with when driving. Everything seemed different--a different perspective. We were also heading to a place I hadn't been to since childhood. My memories played tricks upon me for I remembered the hills to be overwhelmingly larger, and the lakes and rivers being larger as well. Yet now they seemed to have less impact size-wise. However, the beauty of the landscape was and always will be beautiful. Mountains etched in the distance with jagged snowcaps; pinyon and juniper soon being replaced by fir, spruce and aspen; and wildlife scurrying about their business. Lucky souls they were living in the openness of nature as things were probably meant to be. Whatever made cavemen decide to leave their caves and make cardboard square houses?

We got as far as a placed called Cow Creek and found the water too deep and the current too fast to cross in our vehicle. The area provided ample places to camp out with a beautiful forest canopy. I found myself soon limping off for the search of firewood. I walked through the trees, smelling the scents of the forest. The sounds of the creek, the smell of the forest, the beauty of the forest and the sense of peacefulness took my mind off of the things at hand. I found myself wandering, enjoying every moment, enjoying the virgin forests untouched from development...the music of the creek as the water rushed over, through and around rocks and fallen trees...the hurried sounds of birds and other animals busy about their day.

Kathy's voice in the distance calling out for me brought me back to the mission I was set on, gathering wood. We needed it soon so we could start cooking something to fill our stomachs. I was also aching for a cup of that cowboy coffee to satisfy the caffeine fix I needed so badly. An addiction I had formed through life on the road.

Back at the camp I crumpled some paper and stuck kindling on the pile. I laid out the smaller branches like a miniature TP and lit the paper. The fire soon snapped and crackled to life with the pine limbs and branches feeding the fire quickly. Our camp was under way as I added the bigger wood to the fire. The smell of smoke once again took me back to my childhood memories and the summer camps where we sat around the fire telling scary stories while daydreaming about the girls who were sitting nearby.

I lay down by the fire with a rock as my pillow, just watching Kathy as she started loading the grill on the fire with dinner. She was so pretty and comfortable. Comfortable? Yes. Comfortable to look at. The reflection of flames warmed and highlighted her skin. She was an angel with flesh brilliantly reflected with fire. She got near me and I grabbed her and pulled her to me. She fell awkwardly on me and before she could recover I gave her a surprise kiss. No wreck this time; no moving vehicle. I sat there holding her. And her me. I kissed her again and we sat there together watching the fire. Feeling the flames. Feeling the heat. I squeezed her closely, with my head gently laid upon her neck, looking into the fire. The warmth. The heat. I felt no pain.

We watched the canopy of trees bouncing in the breeze. We could see through the top of the trees into the vastness of the universe and beyond into the vastness where the Creator laid resting from his work so long ago. I sat there watching him. He watching me. "Thank you," I said quietly inside to him, lying there, close to another creature, a creature he had perfectly made.

The world seemed so big and we so small. A couple lying in the warmth of a fire under the vastness of the canopy of trees and stars. And yet it seemed where we were was the place we were designed to be. There together, warmly holding each other, sleeping and waking with stars above watching down and winking. And soon all of creation was asleep dreaming of days to come. And yet from the distance the cold of the mountain breeze chilled one side as the other was warmed from Kathy and the fire. I pulled her close and slept. And dreamed.