Pieces of Life is a monthly storytelling project I am a part of with some incredibly talented women. Each month we will post a single image from our photo essays on the ClickinMoms Daily Project.
If you time it out just right, the drive through the tiny town of Dawson, Georgia will fill your car with the smell of fresh roasted peanuts. And you will wonder to yourself whether or not the residents absolutely hate peanuts.
The yellows and oranges will still hang on the trees in Alabama and Mississippi until you reach the Tennessee border. They will dazzle your eyes, which have been so used to the ever-green of Florida.
You'll see the monuments of better days in the crumbling factories and grand city halls for towns that serve little else but to refuel cars and empty stomachs, and you'll wonder what life must have been like back then. And you'll wonder what it's like now for those who continue to hang on by a thread.
And just in case you get bored of seeing the same rolling hills dotted with the same brick ranch homes, dollar stores and two-lane highways, just remind yourself that you are traveling over hallowed musical ground. Listen to the Staples Singers and Wilson Pickett and Etta James and The Rolling Stones and remember they all traveled here for that sound.
Remind yourself how lucky you are to have someone who appreciates your love of the road as much as you do, who knows that the journey is just as important as the destination. Sometimes more.
Don't forget to dream of different possibilities through small towns where maybe, just maybe, you could slip into that old farmhouse set back on the hill and start over again.
The view through the passenger's side window will be forever etched into your brain as the symbol for all road trips. And no matter how many times you try to take a photo of it -- of your reflection against the blur of the passing trees and the glimpse of the past through the side mirror -- you will never, ever capture the poetry of how it looks in your mind.
And maybe some things are best left for memories, anyhow.
PS - Be wary of motion-sick toddlers who gaze at tablets for too long.
All images taken with an Olympus Ace and Pentax 67 on Portra 400 and FujiPro 400. And a few thrown in with my trusty iPhone.
See the other Pieces of Life ladies here: