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May 29, 2018

Eight Songs for the Summer Road Trip


Eight Songs for the Summer Road Trip

 

Remember family road trips? Long hours in the car, legs cramped and restless, slowly growing stir crazy from a lack of personal space. Those were the days.

We (my family and I) would invent games to keep ourselves entertained. Finding out-of-province license plates (in Canada) or playing "My Cows" were usually our favorite pastimes.

But the most important part of our “good ol’ fashioned road trips” was never the destination. Out of all the places I’ve been and all the beauty I’ve seen, it’s near impossible to remember a single one with clarity. Sure, I can say that I have been to Banff or Jasper or the Columbia Ice Fields (creating the illusion that I’m a well-traveled individual). But if someone were to simply ask, What did you do while you were there?, my only response would be, I’m not sure.

After a while, most places just blend together. They form one group of jumbled images, disassociated from any clear point in time. But I do remember being in the car — quite clearly, in fact.

I remember the smell of the air when we reached the mountains. The fear created by the twisting highway and how it seemed like the car would hurl us clean off the road. Or the debate of whether a particular animal was, in fact, a white horse, allowing the one (who spotted the ‘horse in question’) to multiply the current total of their cows. At the time, most of this felt insignificant, and yet it wasn’t.

Does this mean the places visited were useless? Certainly not. It simply highlights how important the journey was.

There is something truly unifying within the framework of a road trip. I could be uncomfortable or hungry or in need of a bathroom, but I would also feel a bond that formed between tired people in a hot car. The destination serves as a landmark or mile-marker (a great metaphor in this case) for one’s progress, but it doesn’t follow the physical and mental growth that was necessary to get there. So many of the “little things” are lost.

All I am trying to say (in plenty of words) is: being in a car with the people you love is special, regardless of where you’re headed.

So, as the temperature begins to rise and a call to adventure grows deep within your soul, here are eight songs that will enhance your time on the road and foster personal growth. May they provide you with an anthem to define your travel experience. And may they give inspiration when necessary.

Glenn CJ Byer

Glenn CJ Byer

Glenn CJ Byer has written widely on the liturgy, including articles on the meaning of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, marriage preparation, the renovation of churches and the anointing of the sick. He speaks widely on the role of lay ministers in the Mass.

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