One of the first things I noticed out here in the rural world is the country driving styles. Basically, there are only two types of drivers out here. One type seems to think that they have all the time in the world, with no place to be in any hurry. The other type of country driver navigates like a bat-outta-Hades. I like to think I fall into neither category, but if the truth be told there may be moments I fall into each.
Often, I am closer to the Bat driver category, I must admit. Living further from everything, time is of the essence. I will not drive dangerously, but there are music lessons, practices, tournaments, church, and many other claims upon our time and attention. We want to encourage a variety of interests, so we are consistently on the go to provide those opportunities for our entire crew. I feel like I must clarify one thing before moving forward; we do know firsthand the importance of being slow enough to be cautious of the animals – both domestic and wild – that inhabit the woods and fields we often pass, and we do not drive foolishly. I guess that means we do not legitimately qualify for the Bat category at all, but some of the What-Me-Worry drivers may disagree. Some of them never even get close to posted speed limits, and I must remind myself every time I follow one that there is no benefit to getting big feelings about something outside of my control. However, there is not much interesting to notice if one is in the category of the Bat driver, because typically that driver is focused on where they need to be and when they need to arrive. We miss a lot of beauty that way.
During times that I fall into the No-Hurry driver group, the melancholy sentimentalist side of my personality is most likely strongest. That is when I slow down and enjoy the drive, delighting in every field I pass that is full of cows or goats. In summer months, we often see kids out running and playing, with a freedom of space and creativity that our family feels only the country can provide (although I realize that is because we are just country-loving folks). People are often out working in their gardens early or late to avoid the heat of the day. In winter months, it is not uncommon to see the light from heat lamps in barns or firepits on patios or dogs and cats chilling in the sunniest spots of random front yards. All viewed with the glorious backdrop of rolling foothills just behind the fields, houses, and barns. Sunsets are the best time for this kind of drive, as the colors are different every time. There are nights that every color is almost electric in its brightness. Other nights, the sultry pastels float lazily through the hazy, sleepy sky. And my soul is fed by the familiar variety.
In a way, country drivers may be more like our current society than I realized even as I began writing this post. When the truth is completely revealed, most drivers out here likely belong to a third category, one much more moderate than the extremes I described. Most of us just want to get where we are going in a decent time frame, without being disrespectful to the safety of ourselves or others. There are very few who completely disregard the laws that keep us safe, but they are the most noticed because of their extreme behaviors. I refuse to believe any differently of the people around me as well. Most of us are just citizens that want to live our lives as we see is the best fit for us, and we agree that everyone has that same right – even ones who do not make the same choices as us.