With my 40th birthday not-so-quietly approaching on Fred Flintstone feet, I’ve been mulling over events in my life that have transpired within the past ten to fifteen years.
It occurs to me that although I felt mentally and most definitely emotionally younger when I was 28 to 30 years of age, I actually feel younger physically — right now.
But it’s not my physical state I’ve been considering as of late.
It’s funny how music weaves itself in and out of our lives. Certain songs, when heard years later, can evoke a swell of emotion or sometimes just a twinge of melancholy. Most of the twinges I experience give me gas…
Twelve years ago, after having been uncerimoniously dumped by my lover of six years, I went on a pilgrimige to the Great Southwest. Actually, I flew out to El Toro, just south of L.A. to visit my sister. She and I then went to the Great Southwest… Arizona — Sedona and the Grand Canyon.
We drove in my sister’s white Jeep Cherokee, with its pink tiger-striped seat covers and feather-tipped roachclip clamped on the rearview mirror. A fine vehicle — when sitting in the driveway. When it was not, it was prone to fits of jumping and jerking, often leading one to veer off the road onto the shoulder, where gravel would shoot up and strike the insides of the wheelwells. On our trip, we did this quite often and saw it as added character to our Grand Journey.
An accomplished muscian, one I’d never heard of previously, had released an album the year before. This album and its title song became my anthem during this time. It served to offer me hope for the future and assisted in the healing of my wounded ego and broken heart. The musician was Bonnie Raitt. And the album was Nick Of Time.
While hiking on trails at Sedona, Arizona, I broke into song. My sister hadn’t heard of Bonnie Raitt, nor of her recent album, and listened intently. My song rang through the red rock and prayer circles… “Nick Of Time”, sung as an offering to the Gods. Almost as a plea.
“You done?” my sister asked.
“Yes, thank you. I feel much better.” I answered.
“Good. You’ve scared the tourists, and my feet hurt.”
We left. But I can still remember how it felt. I was free — free in more ways than one. Probably in more ways than I wanted at the time.
Hearing that album still brings back the memories of that trip to Arizona in my sister’s crappy jeep. Veering off the road onto the shoulder, shooting gravel into the air and small animals, stopping to pee every five minutes and singing to the Heavens while my sister rolled her eyes. The perfect road trip.