Have you ever been on one of those road trips and you hit a stretch of road where your windshield just gets pulverized with bugs? I can’t imagine what that’s like on a motorcycle, but I sure know in a car it’s pretty funky. And around these parts, that stretch of road IS everywhere you go.
See I live in the mountains of northern Wyoming and there’s a few things you can spot to identify the real locals as sure as an elk will spook a quarter mile out before you even see him.
First, it’s the classic cowboy and bucking bronc logo on a license plate; the symbol of our great state. The next identifier is just as synonymous but a little less obvious unless you know what you’re looking at, and that’s a cracked windshield. We’re surrounded by national parks and wild life everywhere you look, so the department of transportation uses gravel in the winter to help with ice on the roads as opposed to salt, which is deadly for some of the wildlife. But that gravel is a killer on our windshields. You just aren’t a local until you’ve got at least 2 or 3 spider cracks and a few craters in that pretty window of yours.
The next one, and the focus of this discussion is the infamous bug splattered windshield and grill.
I’ve actually driven through swarms of summer bugs so thick I thought they were gonna put a chip in the glass. It’s a trippy sound doing 70, er um, I mean 55 through Antelope Flats and hearing these critters hit your window…
Splat, splat, plick, plick, plick, thud – splat – smoosh!
It’s absolutely crazy. And the carnage left behind at times is just gross. Weird shades of green and orange goo smeared all over the glass. Bits of wings and legs and antennae. Ewwwwwww! And don’t even think about hitting the wipers! Man, that just compounds the effect 10 fold. Now you’ve got some sort of bizarre Pollockesque montage that may bring back a flash back or two from a bad trip.
OK, maybe you haven’t seen it that bad, but you get the picture right?
Now how many times have you had a dirty windshield and for some reason you just keep driving? Day after day. Maybe it just escapes you. Maybe you don’t fully notice it. Maybe you’re so busy going from one place to the next you don’t have time to clean it. Maybe…. you just kind of got used to it.
But then one day out of the blue you stop at a gas station or maybe in the driveway, you bust out the glass cleaner and polish that sucker right up. Inside and out till it sparkles. Think about the view now. Picture in your mind what it’s like when you do get around to cleaning it. How much clearer the road ahead looks. How much better the scenery looks. How much more pleasant and enjoyable the drive is. How vibrant all the colors are. Having that crystal clear view even makes traffic and the hustle and bustle of daily life a little more bearable. Dare I say, maybe even enjoyable.
Back to the road trip….
So there you are, over the winding hills and through the flats and fields, and then, there it is.
The sign responsible for many a weary travelers boisterous exclamations of relief in sight and many a bladder’s silent joys…
Food – Gas – Lodging, Next 3 Exits. Yee Haw!
Man – once you pull over and get all those bugs off and get back on the road – POW! There it is.
That big blue beautiful sky. Majestic mountains. Shimmering silver lined clouds. The greenest trees you’ve ever seen. Sparkling rushing waters in the rivers and streams. Everything just looks, well, like a picture. It’s perfect. And suddenly all these little details in your surroundings start to pop out at you. Things you just didn’t pick up on, or worse, you couldn’t even see because your view was so distorted and yucky that you couldn’t even appreciate what was right in front of you.
Let me ask you something. The same thing I asked myself while writing this…
How long has it been since you cleaned your windshield?
How long have you been driving through life with the dead remains of bad experiences distorting your view?
How long has the splattered goo of negativity hindered your ability to see the beauty and opportunity that is all around you?
Do you remember where it is you are going?
Do remember what that road is supposed to look like?
Do you even know where you are?
Us humans tend to harbor a lot of junk in our minds like a bad attitude, cynicism, negativity, anger, unforgiveness, disbelief, a low self image, low self esteem and many other “bugs” in our mindset that cloud our view of the road ahead.
Maybe it’s time to pull over, take a breather, clean the windshield and get your VISION clear again.
I knew it was for me. Which I plan to do this weekend. I’m taking the Jeep up into the hills by the river to do a little soul searching to clear my head, refocus and to re-energize for the trip ahead.
Look around… Does your windshield need a good cleaning?
Maybe it’s time to recharge and ignite a positive attitude.
Pay It Forward!
Please take what you will from this. Maybe you can find something useful.
Or maybe you know someone going through some tough times that may benefit from hearing the story.
Pass it on with love and hopefully we can all help create a brighter view of tomorrow for ourselves and others.
Live Long and Prosper.
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