If I’m not listening to something on the car stereo, I love listening to the lull of the road. Strips of rough pavement separate the smoothly paved parts, and the car thumps predictably between the two like a baby carriage over cracks in the sidewalk.
There is a rhythm to traveling. When you hit the right pace, days flow by while time is suspended, not essential in the way it is essential when other people are counting on you to be somewhere at a certain time.
This rhythm varies by trip. On this trip, the pace I liked best was two nights in each location. One night to get my feet grounded, one night to explore. Enough to take a breath without diluting the mystery a new locale holds in the air.
It is a bit trickier to find this rhythm when on tour. It takes some of the flexibility and spontaneity out of the traveling to have booked gigs on specific dates – although it is a tradeoff balanced by the benefits of meeting such wonderful communities along the way. I could only keep that pace up for so long, however, and two weeks ago in Asheville I crashed. I was inexplicably exhausted, and slept like a teenager for four days. I suppose I can only say – it happens.
Tea shops are great for this kind of fatigue – I spent two days in Dobra Tea in Asheville. So are kind friends who let you stay in their houses longer than planned (thank you, Rick!). So are blank journal pages and yoga pants.
I keep pushing on. Keep pushing north.