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The Long and Winding Country Roads
By Stephanie Rennie

Miles of open road lie ahead in the clear distance with a picturesque background of vast farmland, prominent forests, and beautiful blue skies. Many of my days have been spent driving down familiar miles of pavement and listening to local radio stations. Cars pass from the opposite direction while lightly honking their horns and waving. Familiar and friendly faces fill the country roads and local highways alike. Though this illustration is similar to that of a leisurely drive on a Sunday morning, it is a daily reality in this area.

        Driving to work, appointments, and so forth can be an agonizing task. However, throughout the years I have recognized the absolute tranquility of driving in the country opposed to cities of any size. The calm, friendly, and slow paced driving style of the town is overtly different from the fast paced, stressed out, frantic driving found in cities.

        I admit there have been moments of slight frustration when following a “Sunday driver” barely traveling at twenty five kilometres an hour as they pay acute attention to each and every detail of each and every property. In addition, I have battled the very difficult and questioning driving conditions during the winter season along the back roads. However, I would not hesitate to deal with these occasional annoyances if it means driving comfortably along familiar country roads.

        One of my favourite moments driving in this lovely area is the climaxing stretch across Frogs Hollow Side Road towards Thornbury. I recall driving this exact route daily on my way to work one summer. On early and groggy mornings I would hesitantly embark upon my journey and hit the dry pavement. I remember the progressive feeling of increasing excitement and enjoyment as I put on my favourite Tragically Hip album. Slowly making my way across the side road I distinctly remember the feeling of the slight climb of a rather small hill with an exceptional view. Sitting upon what seemed to be a mountain the size of the overwhelming ski slopes, I could see the quaint town of Thornbury in an indescribable way.
 

The water tower stands proudly in the distance. The water illustrates perfect shading of darker to lighter blues mixing perfectly with the depths of the bay. The mountains stand proudly in the distance like protectors of the small town. Below, roads look like cross words with small houses as letters slowing filling in each blank spot. I breathe in deeply and out deeper acknowledging the power of such an image.

   
        Though I recognize that this is a mere experience in driving in this beloved area, I find it to be a paradigm shift that has enabled my perception of driving and the area alike to alter through the years. I find great pleasure cruising along the comfortable pavement, saying hello to the tiger lilies in the ditch, and waving to strangers and friends alike walking their loyal dogs. After a day or two of city driving, I yearn for the calm and familiar feeling of the country once more.

        The pace might be a few kilometres slower, the rest stops fewer, there may not be a coffee shop on every stretch of the road, but nothing is comparable to the tranquil feeling of country driving. Driving on roads you know like the back of your hand, encountering friendly strangers and neighbours along the way and listening to the sounds of nature combined with your favourite music. All of these sounds and feelings create a sweet melody that embodies the glory of living and driving in this area.