There are moments on the road when every concern can dissolve away. You’re gripping the steering wheel, looking forward with shades on, windows down, music up. That dusty, white bus is chugging along. Some of your friends are staring out the windows in mesmerised silence. Others are sleeping on packs or pillows. You know it's a matter of time until the next banger starts booming on the playlist and everyone awakes from their trance or slumber to belt out the lyrics.
The breeze ripples hair and softens the scent of body odor and sweaty hiking boots. Sunlight ignites dusty windows. You’re moving forward yet staying still, satisfied with where you are, excited for wherever you’re going.
Throughout our eight-hour drive from Penticton, BC to Jasper, Alberta, we were spoiled with in-your-face mountains, Gatorade-blue-lakes, and deep-green forestry that energized our dream-like wonder.
As we drove on, though, I thought about how it no longer felt like we were staring at the scenery around us—in ways that are difficult to explain, it felt as if we were part of the scenery. It felt like the forests, mountains and lakes were an extension of who we are, connected in constant flux—not something to be witnessed, but something inherently entwined with our fleeting existence, as attached to us as an arm or leg, as inside us as every sucked-in breath.