I am not what I consider materialistic. I like some things, yes. I like my ipod. It brings me music and books and prayers, etc. I like some of my knick knacks that have sentimental value. I loved my cross that I got in Rome. When I lost it, I actually cried over that. It wasn't just the cross itself. It was the fact it had been blessed by the Pope. Not replaceable.
And then there is my car. I have never "loved" a car before. But then, I have never had a VW bug before. And not just a VW bug. But a VW bug convertible. It reminds me of the 60's when I grew up. And it doesn't have an image of a "snobby" kind of car. More like a down-home, next-door-neighbor, low-car-payments kind of car. And so much fun to drive. Especially since it is a convertible. That is what really brings me so much joy.
Today I drove it home from Mass with the top down (with apologies to those of you in cold climates). It was definitely convertible weather today. Such a beautiful day. And I had some Praise & Worship kind of music on and I was raising my hands straight up to the sky and singing out loud, praising the Lord (make that one hand, I did remember to keep the other one on the steering wheel!) What joy I felt!
I have always had a hard time expressing my feelings. Sexual abuse survivors often do. It is amazing how something like a car can help me feel and express joy like that. The first month I had it, I giggled every time I drove it with the top down! I think it is the sense of freedom I get when I am driving with the top down. That feeling of the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. The feeling of endless possibilities and dreams coming true. And feeling like I have no worries in the world.
It is not a feeling that I have allowed myself to experience often in my life. And I know I can't give all the credit to a car, for pete's sake. But just the fact that I let anything help me feel and express joy is something to celebrate.
So if you are ever in my neck of the woods, and you see a wacky lady driving her Bug down the highway, hand raised and music blaring like she was a teenager, wave at me or honk your horn! I will be happy to see you!