An Hour to Myself

For more than a year I’ve wanted to sit on a park bench in a spot near the bridge and read for an hour. Just an hour. I’ve never been able to do it. Either I haven’t had access to the car, or I’ve had the grand-kids with me, or we haven’t been able to afford the gas for me to get there and back.

I haven’t minded being home without the car. Really. My roommate/daughter needs it to get to and from work, and in a location where there’s absolutely no public transportation, there aren’t options. She gets the car. It’s a no-brainer. But every time I had to drive over the bridge and back, this longing would fill me for an hour. Just an hour. Time all my own to refill the well. Time when I didn’t have to answer to anyone else or take anyone else with me, or be home at a specific time, or … well, you know.

In the past few months, I’ve started to feel trapped inside the house. Taking daily walks with the dog helped until the weather turned cold, but those weeks when it was too cold to enjoy the walk finally got the best of me. My spirits began to sink. Prayer and fasting and Bible study have been barely keeping my head above water. Not even my whole head, actually. My eyes and my nose. The rest of me has been submerged.

As I began to identify the need within me to have transportation, I’ve been praying that God would make it possible for us to get a second car. Just a week or so ago, in an interesting and creative twist of events–the kind only God can dream up–I’ve been blessed with access to a car, at least for the next 8 months.

Today, I got in the car to drive into town so my other daughter could switch her really great stereo out of the car and into the van she and her husband just bought. It was a 30-mile drive on a beautiful, warm, sunny day, and it just happened to take me across the bridge. I didn’t even make it to the stop sign on the corner before tears of gratitude filled my eyes, and a sense of freedom so amazing it was almost painful filled my heart.

I cried all the way to the stereo shop where I was supposed to meet my daughter. Seriously. All the way. 30 miles. I finally mopped up the tears about a block from the stereo shop. On the way home, I decided to stop, just for a minute, to check out those park benches. Was the spot as beautiful as I thought it would be? Are dogs allowed? Could I sit there and read for a while? All the important things.

Yes, dogs are allowed. Yes, it was as beautiful as I thought it would be. I read two chapters. I could definitely do more.

I cried all the way home, too.




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