Run Down the Sun

The country music group Restless Heart (click to listen) sang one of my favorite road trip songs “Wheels”. The lyrics go, “…it’s an obsession to some / to keep the world in your rearview mirror / while you try to run down the sun.” The song evokes emotions and memories that I love about travel. Glancing at the past behind me. Looking at the unending stretch of asphalt in front of me. Sunup to my back, sundown in my face. I love it.

A pastime of travel is watching the sunset. A wandering life affords you time. Or appreciation for the aesthetic. You take in the changing dynamic of atmosphere, clouds, and light on the canvas above you. And it looks different in changing locations, landscapes, and weather.

There’s wisdom to it. Watching the sun go down in a place you’ve never left feels like the end of days. Death. Darkness covers you over with foreboding. But striking out, moving forward, rolling toward the fleeing sunlight feels like living. Traveling westward is that tangible “rage against the dying of the light.” You press against the bounds of the day to find what your deeper longing always knew. You can prolong the sunset. The world still opens in the twilight. And darkness is not finite. Life unfolds in the night, illuminated by headlights, a rising moon, or your own fiery passion.

So pick a path. Load up those things you hold most dear. Carry it all within you as the clouds form and evening gathers.

Disappear into the sunset.

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