Walking down Route 66 into Cars Land and seeing all of the car themed decorations is really inspiring. It instantly affirms the feeling that you really are in Radiator Springs and it’s no stretch of the imagination to picture Luigi and Guido hanging these tires for a whitewall Christmas.
Snow may not be the first thing you think of when you hear the words “Route 66”. Its coming is as uncertain as the promise of a traveler passing through town. But what good does it do to let uncertainty weigh us down? There are so many things we don’t have control of in life. What we do have control of is our outlook on things. Focus on what is good and true. Focus on the dreams that drive you. Focus on all that you have to be grateful for because gratefulness is always in season and it has the power to overcome whatever this life may throw our way.
Where are you? You’re in the merriest little town in Carburetor Country. Cars Land has been decorated for Christmas and it’s truly something to behold. The cozy charm of Radiator Springs is magnified by the cheer and merriment of Christmas decor, automotive style. We didn’t get to spend nearly enough time there on our visit this weekend.
It’s Sunday night. Monday is almost here. When the sun rises, I shall embark on what I expect will be an interesting week. It will be the last one with my employer of seven years. Soon I will be at a different school district. I’m excited. I’m pensive. I am bittersweetly retrospective. At 27, if I break down the numbers, I’ve spent a little more than 25% of my life here. The feeling is surreal. The change has come swiftly. It feels like a dream.
A very dear friend was sharing with me yesterday evening the importance of time, how it’s the most valuable thing we have and how we can choose to give it to others. We can use it to show people that they are worth something, that they’re accepted and loved. It’s something I take for granted because I’m blessed to have some really amazing people in my life that make me feel those things on a consistent basis.
As I sat down with this picture earlier, none of this was on my mind. It was just me and Radiator Springs and I was wishing I was there. Then the word “Cozy” really started standing out. It’s the perfect word for this place. Radiator Springs is one of those places with its priorities set right, where folks are accepted and valued. That acceptance, which leads to feeling cozy, can give you a place to feel at home, no matter where you are.
My new job means moving. Not real far but far enough to feel unfamiliar. Far enough for me to consider new ways to give my time to the people I love, people who won’t be a few minutes away. Far enough that I expect I will meet new people to give my time to and people who will give of their time to me. I know that good things are in store. I know that God loves me and has good plans for me and that makes me feel cozy. When I wake from this surreality, there will be a new place to feel at home.
Some days of shooting pictures at the Disneyland Resort are about telling a story. Some are about meandering to see what catches your eye. Other days are about finding light. This picture was a result of the latter. The glow on just about everything in Cars Land during the late afternoon is stunning.
On a side note, naming each picture is kind of a process in itself. Sometimes you have a thought about an image when you take it and sometimes you don’t have a clue. I often try to find a title that is amusing and clever (at least to myself…) Tonight I thought of naming my picture “Grease. Monkey Not Included”. Chuckling at myself, I proudly asked Michaela, “What do you think I’m going to name this?” She replied, “I don’t know, ‘Grease Lighting’?” After a brief moment of watching my popped balloon fly about the room, I knew she’d won and gladly claimed her thought for my own! Now off to do the hand jive…
I spent a good chunk of my night in Cars Land taking in the wonder that is Radiator Springs Racers. It really got me thinking about the part in Cars when Sally is talking to Lightning about how people used to drive along the highway to have a great time, not to make great time. We really do have a bad habit of getting hung up on the destination. Sally’s insight is such a beautiful reminder to take your time. Enjoy it. Enjoy the people you’re with. Most of all, enjoy the journey. That’s where the adventure is.