On Being a Passenger

I was invited along and for me that thought was heaven. I would be a passenger, not a leader…no making the plans or figuring out where to go, but simply following their lead. It’s a headspace I’ve been in the last few months and I’m just getting around to seeing that clearly – my desire to let go of the reins and let other people drive a while.

Two of my neighbor friends and I attended an early morning yoga class under a small shelter in Nashville, IN and now, walking around the shops after brunch, looking at plants, candles, and painted signs, they kept saying, “let’s go out to the “Farmhouse.” Since I was kind of the outsider on this trip, not knowing much about anything, I agreed to go wherever they thought would be fun. And so after an hour on the streets of Nashville, IN, we set the GPS to take us to the “Farmhouse!”

We drove north to Beanblossom. My only knowledge of the area was when my dad took us to the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival out at Bill Monroe’s when we were kids. The GPS took us off of 135 and down a long and winding backcountry road a few miles east of town. We passed cornfields, overlooks that dropped off into lush green valleys. Small farmsteads and country cabins dotted the road on the right and left. Both of my traveling companions, neighbors I’d been friends with a few years were very familiar with the place and seemed very excited about this diversion.

Once we came around the bend, they both let out a squeal of excitement. We’d arrived!

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On one side of the drive, sat the house/restaurant and on the other, a garden center and antique barn. So much to explore!

The gardens overflowed with color and everything spilled out abundant and lush. The owners had made their plant nursery feel like you’re walking through a well-kept English garden. We wandered down meandering paths offering late summer flowers for sale. A sign on the greenhouse welcomed us to come on in where late 70s funk was playing on a transistor radio wired to the archways above.

After exploring, my friends had to have one of their special lemonades made with milk! It didn’t sound super appealing to me, but they loved it.

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Inside the wait staff was prepping their dining room for the lunch and dinner crowd. It was a really cute shabby chic vibe and I wouldn’t mind going back for a romantic dinner some time (hint). You can sit inside or on the side patio both have a lot of character.

Afterward, we explored the antique barn filled with a lot of worn-out dusty furniture. It isn’t high-end antique, but if you’re looking for something really rustic or something to use in a building project, you might find it here.

By the time we finished looking at antiques, we were all ready to head home. Sitting in the back seat, I looked out over the passing scenery as my friend G drove us north on Highway 135, a backcountry route from Nashville to Indianapolis. Being a single woman, I hardly ever get to stare out at the passing landscape. I’m always driving.

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Maybe this inclination to be a passenger for a while is part of my process of letting go of control (something I often confuse with responsibility). What feels like a lifetime of being uber responsible might just be part of the guarded and armored facade I’ve worked so hard to maintain.

For years I’ve been afraid of letting others lead for fear I’ll fall into the trap of giving myself away – a habit I had in my younger years. And as a result, I experienced a lot of emotional (and some physical) pain as a result. I armored up to protect myself from my own lack of personal safety and boundaries.

But now I’ve become aware of a need, part of my personal/spiritual evolution to de-armor, to lay down the sword and shield I took up to protect myself and learn new ways to trust myself and others. My willingness and desire to follow more seems to be a result. I’m terrified to go there, uncertain and wary, but I know it’s the next part of my journey. As dark and scary as it might be, I’m also praying for more freedom and joy as a result. There are simply things I cannot experience or see from my current vantage.

There are so many things we miss when we’re always the one driving the ship, so it was nice for once to be a passenger where I could be carried along by the moment and not have to be in control of directions or a vehicle even. I loved every second of that trip!

 

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