This morning I found a strange act of faith. Backing my car up.
My house has a one-lane driveway that neatly holds two cars, one in front of the other.
It’s not unusual that — between my wife and I — the one that needs to leave first is pinned in.
This AM, that was Lucy. I pulled onto our sleepy, zero-traffic street and let her out, and then proceeded to back up the couple of dozen feet to return to the driveway.
At first, I craned my head around while backing, and then for some reason, I decided to look forward while backing. Understand: I knew there were no obstacles, cars, kids, etc. Our street is pretty uneventful, especially at 8am.
And it was the strangest feeling. I could easily tell from watching the curbs receding that I was backing up straight, and not veering this way or that. I realized that — guaranteeing no out-and-out obstacles of the type listed above — it was just as possible to drive in a straight line backwards as it is to do so forwards —but infinitely more unnerving.
In that moment, I perceived it as a strange act of faith. I had confirmed that there was nothing behind me. I had the clear means to see that I was not veering this way or that. And still it was unnerving.
Then this strange feeling of calm settled over me as I accepted that everything was okay, even though it felt wrong.
I’ve been backing up a lot lately — reexamining the ways that I behave. And while I have no intention of trying to drive anywhere backwards, I find that backing up has been very good for me as a person who — like any of us — could use some reevaluation on occasion.