Silver Lining on the Autoroute du Soleil

‘It was not a good idea to go to France, he?’ decreed Norah from the backseat as we steadily forged our way through an iron curtain of rain on the highway at a very modest 70-80 km/h. Kilometer by kilometer, slowly but surely getting closer to our French holiday destination.

And after having spent 4 hours on the road that day alone and having to tend to the strung out moods and fiery temperaments of my car companions, all properly wound up by the exhaustion of the ride, I was tempted to agree with her. Bad weather, kids screaming. No, really, why are we here? Why do people do this? Is this really necessary?

Only, in the back of my mind, I knew something Norah, at her tender age of five had forgotten. It’s like this every time we come here! There’s always the barrier of rain and stress between us and paradise, between our holiday selves and the selves we leave behind.

I’ve come to regard it as a metaphor for all the emotional baggage we have to let go off before we can allow ourselves to just be. One more kilometer, one more rain storm, one more chagrin out the window, smashed to bits by a passing truck on the Autoroute du Soleil. And we get lighter.

At the end of the rain, there’s no rainbow, no pot of gold, just clear skies and a promise of a chance to start all over again. To fuel your ambitions with crisp sea air, abandon your body to the sun, and let your being morph into that form you so much desire, a little closer to your ideal self.