The other day we were driving south back to Victoria when an SUV passed us. In both the front and rear passenger seats were two boys who were waving to other vehicles as they passed, and they were both quite excited when I waved back. It reminded me of another day, another highway, and this story:
Before we continue, we need to introduce Bogey. He’s the oldest of our (currently 317) kids, and Bogey and Mike have been traveling together for more than thirty years. Bogey has been to Europe, several US states, and across Canada from one coast to the other. He’s been stuffed in backpacks, ridden on ferries and when sitting in the back seat always wears his seat belt, of course.
Bogey and Mike have the same hair style. The one on Bogey’s left is Pretty Eyes; the two of them have been together longer than Marcia and Mike. Pretty Eyes is a real flirt – she can’t help it, it’s in her nature – but her heart belongs to one very special orangutan. They’ve since been joined in their travels by Leo the lion and Mortimer the mouse.
Anyway… back in the late 1980s Mike and his old friend Hal were driving down Ontario’s Hwy 401 in a red van named Peggy Sue. Hal had his companion (a bull named Jesse) on the dash, and Bogey was sitting on Mike’s lap watching the countryside go by when we approached a station wagon driven by a woman with a very firm grip on the steering wheel and four, shall we say, exuberant children in the back. She was not having a good day, so as we pulled up beside her Hal tapped the horn and Bogey waved at her through the window. That did it, and she broke out laughing. On we went.
About ten minutes later this same car passed us in turn. All four of the kids had collected their favourite companions and were actively waving them, so of course Bogey and Jesse had to wave back. That’s what started it all. After that whenever we approached a vehicle with kids in it (okay, and a number that didn’t) Bogey would wave to them (and Jesse, when he was able). While there were times when we were studiously ignored, for the most part the adults would wave and the kids would collect dolls or stuffed animals or whoever their favourite confidantes were and wave too.
And then we saw people in vehicles waving to people in other vehicles as we all proceeded down that narrow ribbon of roadway, each to our own destinations, but all joined for a brief moment or two. It was wonderful!!
Cars are a great way to get from A to B, no question, but it has often seemed to us that each of us is cocooned in our own little worlds when we travel that way. Safety must of course be paramount, but we’re all looking for connections. Who have you let into your world today?
P.S. Bogey loves waving to school buses most of all; the kids all rotate past the back window so they can see him and wave back… he always gets a charge out of that.