This one sentence contains a recognizable world within it for all who inhabit this wonderful place known for it’s four seasons. If one grew up surrounded in this land of distinct change, this sentence also conjures up memories of typical four season road trips. Any of these trips all meant having to go up the mountains, down the mountains or deeper into the mountains.
Whether it was the straight interstate shot to Charleston, SC to get to the ocean or the switchback curves up Pisgah National Forest, both of these destinations were always perfect all year round for an exaggerated change of scenery that were in our backyards.
I’m fortunate to have grown up with an amateur photographer father, a mother who loved to go anywhere and to be an only child so I could have the whole back seat to myself. The back seat was my refuge from the nauseating switch back curves and the place I could cover my whole head to escape the horrible too fast black and white silent movie style flashing of the sun between the long shadows of the pines. It didn’t matter what season it was because each one had its own version of this phenomenon that seemed to only make me sick and crazy and only care about the destination and none of the scenery that tourists from far away would pile into a station wagon and come here just to see colored leaves. I just wanted out of the car. Fast.
Now I’m old and I drive myself through this special state during all seasons. I could never be a passenger unless I had all the visors down, multiple pairs of sunglasses or just allow myself to be called a control freak as I would insist to be the driver. It was easier to just insist to drive than explain the fact that the sun screaming across roads, separated by the long shadows of trees at 70 mph but felt like 500 mph made me SICK and PANICKED!
The blinding film show of my youth never had a break, it’s been my nemesis of travel, all over the world, in beautiful climates, picturesque villages… Didn’t matter. There are trees and sunlight everywhere! Even in winter when the blinding gray sky and white clouds on top of even whiter snow and the blackest longest trees…I couldn’t see. I’d be shell shocked in a permanent light show, a bad 1980’s strobe light concert or the too fast silent movie.
We are supposed to be grateful for trees and sunlight, travel and seasons.
I haven’t known what that pleasure could be, what everyone else seemed to love with the windows down and visors up, I have missed a lot of the world because of that sun or white sky or black shadows. My eyes were closed.
I know I’m not the only one with this story. I know because Axon Optics makes glasses for people like me. They make glasses for people with all kinds of light sensitivities and migraines triggered by light and I’ve had all of these issues for a very long time. I don’t leave the house without my Axon glasses. I sent in my own frame (a very cool option for the fashionistas on a budget… Yes, I am…) and I have my own pair of glasses which paint my world all the colors I like, the sun and shadow movies are slower and nature is benevolent. Driving isn’t a bad rock concert anymore.
I can even be a passenger now. I can open the window, put up the visor and I can see my own beautiful state, in all seasons, and enjoy the ride and the destination when I get there. Barcode Road Syndrome (BRS – yes, I made that up. All syndromes had to be named by someone at some point, right?) has taken my place in the back seat. Thank you Axon Optics for changing my life of travel (I didn’t even mention trains!!) into what I believe is now beautiful to behold.