I caught a glimpse of her head-on for just a moment before her car moved on and out of sight in the opposite flow of traffic. She was crying in open mouth agony. My heart followed her even after I lost sight of her Jeep Cherokee in my side-view mirror.
My light changed and I drove on wondering what she was crying about. As I wandered around with all my thoughts about her I realized that people spend a lot of time crying in cars…and how interesting that is. We perceive our cars as safe, private places, that are ironically in full view of everyone driving around us.
As I drove I spent some time wondering what she was crying about, then came to the simple conclusion that she was crying what we all cry about – Hurt and loss. Was it sadder that she was crying alone in her car while she drove? No – hurt and loss are part of our everyday lives. That we cry keeps us healthy. Sometimes we need to cry alone and sometimes we need to cry in the arms of others. Maybe the public/private space of a car is a hybrid of the two. I wasn’t able to reach out and comfort the driving woman with my arms, but my heart followed her and spent a little time sharing her pain.