3am. It’s late. I’m tired. I should be sleeping. But my muse keeps odd hours. What’s a writer to do?
Today, I’m talking about love.
Wait, come back!
I promise to TRY to be brief.
Comfy? Good. Here goes….
Love means different things to a lot of people. Personally, I like to think of love like this:
Whenever I see the original Volkswagen Beetle, a lot of memories flood my heart. You see, my dad’s first car was a Beetle.
I remember the days when my dad would drive me and my sister to school on rainy days. It could cross any type of road and get you to your destination. That old Beetle took us on several 3 hour trips to the village and we never had a flat tire.
Love is rugged.
This beetle also required patience. The car isn’t particularly a runner. I can’t remember it ever doing above 80km/hr at any time. So our trips were usually longer than normal. But it just made the journey sweeter because I would fall asleep to the sound of my parents talking and those conversations somehow played out in my dreams. I can’t tell you how good that felt.
I remember my dad used to drive my mom to the market at Mile 12 and wait for hours in the Beetle, reading the dailies while she hunted for affordable groceries. That was my dad at his most patient. He never did that in his second car.
Love is patient.
The Beetle is like a souvenir of the best years of my parent’s marriage. My folks had the best marriage in the world, at least until my dad made enough money and got a new car. It seems strange but I can’t think of any time my folks were happy in the new car.
I remember the door bolts were weak and it took quite an effort to make the locks click in place. I would climb into the passenger seat , jam the door but my dad would tell me it wasn’t locked.
“Open it again and jam it.” He’d say. Meanwhile, this was a Beetle. There were no fancy red indicators or beeping sounds to warn you when the door wasn’t properly locked. Years of experience had helped him recognise the sound of the locks clicking in place. I remember before I hit my two digit years, I would drop my bag and use both hands to swing-jam the door just to make it lock.
Love takes time.
I remember this car needed warming every day. My dad had a routine. He’d warm it first thing in the morning, check the oil and wash the body and tires. Every.single.day.
But some days, the Beetle would not start despite the routine care. And then, I and the neighbours’ kids would eagerly help him push-start the car. It was such a big win whenever the car growled to life as we strained against it with our little arms.
Love takes work.
If my parents didn’t separate, this would be their 33 year anniversary. But they did. Immediately the old Beetle was traded for a new car, that was the beginning of the end.
Forever the old VW Beetle will have a special place in my heart.
What made this car special, and what makes love special, is its ruggedness. Its simple minded ability to keep going regardless of the situation.
Whenever I think of love, the real kind, I always fall back to this definition – the old Beetle kind.
Stubborn, dependable, rugged. Not perfect, maybe not a looker but, if I’m looking for a ride on the longest journey of my life, I wouldn’t think twice about hopping in the VW Beetle.
I feel the same way about love.
It must be with stargazing and longwalks, though. 😀