Joshua awoke to the sound of rain tapping lightly on the rooftop of his Volkswagen Bus. A short suck of air revealed that the day was fast becoming a cold one. He rolled himself up, taking care to duck before he got to full height, tossed his blankets onto the back seat, and swung the door open. He breathed in the smell of the fresh mountain air as it mixed with the rain, and could taste the wet pine on the breeze.
He stepped down into the gravel and took a short few steps past a tree to relieve his bladder. As he walked back, he felt a pebble stuck between his toes, and shook it loose. He put on the well-worn electric kettle, and as it boiled he sliced some fruit he had left sitting in a bowl on the seat. The breeze invaded him on the floor of his car, and he threw on a light, brown jacket before he poured his tea. He grabbed a few handfuls of nuts from another bag—a mixture of almonds and cashews—before finally eating.
The tea took its time to cool, despite the weather, but Joshua didn’t mind. He was going nowhere, and had no real thought to get there quickly. The sleep was still in his eyes, and he chanced a yawn that tempted him back to the warm embrace of the blankets. The thought passed through his mind quickly as he sipped his tea.
Today was a good day to be driving. Not for the weather, but for the experience. Joshua loved the rain, and even more he loved how the trees changed in the rain. The wet bark seemed to melt away the decades they had put on, and they looked as though they were sprigs ready to spring their way back to life. When the van sputtered to life, he felt giddy to think that he would get to see Mother Nature so alive.
He pulled away from the bank of the road he had slept on the night before, and found a steady pace of forty miles per hour to drive at. Though he was going nowhere, he felt compelled to make a stop at the mountain ranges just along the horizon. The last few days had been made in that direction, and though sometimes the roads turned him this way and that, he always found his way back on to right path.
Joshua pattered along on his steering wheel to a beat that had festered in his head. It was catchy, but he couldn’t quite make out what it was from, so reached into his glove box and pulled out one of many CDs at random. When the noise finally came in, he found that it was The Wall by Pink Floyd, and felt a sense of bitter irony. The tracks wove their way in and out of the day, and the horizon slowly became the distance, which became the background, and then finally the foreground. By then the day nearly half gone, but Joshua didn’t mind. The sun was high somewhere behind the clouds, so Joshua pulled over and turned off the engine.
He hopped out of the car, and drank in the rain on his brow. The mountain stood before him, but he wasn’t afraid. It was a great day for an adventure. His socks would be wet by the time he was back tonight, ready to do it all again tomorrow.
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