I set the alarm this morning at 5 a.m. which is very out of character for me. A little after six, I was at the local Starbucks acquiring enormous amounts of caffein for the three hour trip to Augusta. Then I was off.
My mom is always up early, so I called her and we had a real nice chance to talk. She still works full-time, and her schedule and mine are kind of opposite, so we don’t really get a chance to talk as much as I’d like.
Mom and I talked until I got near Statesboro and then we hung up. I decided to not listen to music and just enjoy the scenery and the solace as I drove further out in to the country. On the other side of Statesboro,There was a very distinct change in everything. The pace, the energy, the people, everything is different out there.
I pulled in to two very big convenient stores only to find that they weren’t open. “How odd” I thought. In Savannah, either one of them would be open twenty four hours a day for sure. I guessed that the population out here just did not warrant those hours. Then I found a little country looking place that was indeed open.
I pulled up and parked beside a pickup that was filled with crates that contained hunting dogs. Beagles? One of them looked me right in the eye as I made my way around to the front of the store where five or six older gentlemen were gathered around and talking.
They broke their conversation and one of them said “hello” to me and I smiled and said, “Good morning gentlemen!” as I hurried to the restroom to relieve myself of some of the already consumed Starbucks.
On the way out, I said over my shoulder, “You guys have a nice day”, and they nodded to me.
I stopped twice more, just for the heck of it. The energy was just so completely different than in Savannah where I live.
There was a McDonalds and there were so many cars there, that I stopped and went inside. I am “Pro No McDonalds” but I had to see what all the fuss was about. There were mostly older white folks in there, and dressed in their Sunday best. There was a really crazy looking African American guy who had on a big cowboy hat and one of those long duster coats. All the older white folks looked at him and pointed and remarked to each other about him.
I felt like an alien who was visiting their planet. Besides the way I dress, my long hair, and being self conscious about my Buddhist skull bracelet that I got from some monks, the truth is that people have always told me, “Kyle, you are just not like everybody else.” It was this way in elementary school and it has just always been that way, though it is really no doing of mine, and it is neither “good” nor “bad”. People just always tell me that I am “different”. Cool.
Typically, I would never eat at a place like this, though sometimes in all my traveling I get caught and have to order a fish sandwich from some horrid fast food place. I do also have a six year old, and… well… I have given in and taken her to McDonalds once or twice, just because you have to choose your battles with a six year old, and there is a playground there and all.
So long story short, I forced myself to the counter and ordered of course more coffee, two hash browns and an egg and cheese biscuit. I chose to overlook the fact that none of this “food” is really food, and reasoned that I did need to eat something, even if it wasn’t real.
My “food” was soon handed to me and off I went, back to the car. I had to be in Augusta by a certain time.
As I drove, I fantasized about walking off in to the woods. I just like to walk in the woods. I wondered how I turned out so totally different than most of these people. Albany Georgia is my home town, and so I’m no stranger to rural areas. Growing up, I did try to act like a “good old boy” but seriously doubt that anybody was ever fooled. I never wanted to hunt or shoot guns, fishing is okay but left to my own devices, I will walk around and collect rocks or interesting looking pieces of wood. I just like to look at the trees and listen to the birds and other animals. For me, the outdoors is simply about experiencing the energy.
Besides the people and the pace, the energy is different than in cities. I am sure that this is scientifically proven, but I don’t need that because I have always been so sensitive to it.
That is why I always stay up at night. Even in NYC, the energy does calm down late at night, though their calm is faster than our fast by quite a margin.
Unity of Augusta was a small congregation, and they have a most beautiful church to meet in. The workshop after the service was astounding. There is no way to describe how blessed I feel in life. The connections that I get to make with people are so strong and powerful and beautiful. My life is very much full of meaning and purpose.
Then the drive home. There were more fantasy’s about stopping and meandering around, but, my life was waiting back here in Savannah. Now, here I sit, and it is after midnight, and yes I need to just go to bed.
But the stillness of the night is like a magnet to me. It is a different energy.