It’s funny, sometimes, how much we identify with the things we own. Like they are a part of us. Like somehow we belong to them as much as they belong to us.
You may have heard, it was Snowpocalypse down here in Atlanta. When my car died in hour four of my commute home on Tuesday, I didn’t think much of it.
Okay, well truthfully, I broke down crying. But then I reminded myself that it’s not the end of the world, it’s a problem. Crying doesn’t solve anything in that circumstance, so calm down and just fix the problem.
So I called a tow truck and my husband, and was far from the only person to abandon my car on the side of the road that day. A few days later, we managed to tow it almost home and at least maneuver it into a parking space. And the day after that, just before he took it away, the tow guy told me it sounds like the alternator.
Watching it leave, I felt like I was saying goodbye. I mean, it’s a “vintage” Pontiac with more than a dozen years and 150k+ under its belt. If it’s the alternator, my husbands likely response will be, “Well, it’s had a good run.”
Why do I feel so sentimental watching this beat up old vehicle leave my presence, and, likely, my life? I felt the pang of that loss as I walked down to the restaurant where I was meeting a friend for lunch. My world has become very small in the last few days when my method of transportation has been limited to my own two feet.
Suddenly, like a reminder that I’m never completely alone, my favorite song came on the speaker system outside. And I realized: some things you can’t lose. That music will always be a part of me, something that lifts my spirits no matter what else is going on. And it reminded me not to hold too tightly to the things that can be taken from you. Not to identify too closely with a vehicle that, sooner or later, was always going to be gone from my life. And to cling tightly instead to those things inside, and the passion that lives to bring them out of you.
I still have everything that truly matters.