The light on the intersection of Epping and Vimiera Road turns red.
It’s a Thursday night, 8:30 p.m., and I am the first car to reach the intersection. I am driving home by myself after meeting up with my mom for dinner. I am feeling relaxed tonight, more than I’ve felt in a long time. My windows are down, my iPod is turned off. I don’t feel a rush to get home, and I don’t even try to race the other cars on the highway. I bask in the silent sounds of a highway slowly falling asleep.
Two cars join me on the intersection. One on my left, and one on my right.
I ignore the sound.
I cast an inconspicuous glance to the car on my left. It’s a dark blue sedan with a young dad driving and a young mum trying to entertain a tired child. Their windows, too, are open. “Beep, beep,” the young mum says again in a light voice, holding a rattle. Their child cries in response. I allow myself a tiny smile.
I shift my glance to the car on my right. It’s another sedan, light-colored, with two young Aussie dudes my age talking in tones too low for me to hear. Or maybe I just do not bother to hear what they are saying. Their windows, to no surprise, are also down. The guy sitting on the passenger seat is resting his arm on his window.
The weather is great. Not hot, not cold. Just right, like the porridge Goldilocks loved.
No one’s got music on. We’re all listening to the music of the evening. We’re breathing in the scent of freshly cut grass in the middle of the highway. We’re all taking in the moment, making the most of the pause that comes before life again must go on–too often, too fast.
There is no moon in sight nor visible stars from where we are. Just lights from posts up above, lights on the footbridge beyond, and the low lights of cars waiting to cross the intersection. Light reflects on faces content. The trees are quiet, almost as if reveling in the stillness, and everyone participates in the orchestra of silence. I smile again to myself.
The light turns green. Off we all go, the guys to the right, the young family to the left, and myself, forward. The wind works its fingers through my hair again, and I hum to the sound of the silence of the night.
It’s my most beautiful drive…yet.