fellowship of hand surfers

as i’ve been driving around on this weekend, this weekend in which we’ve been blessed with exquisite weather for kicking off into summer, i’ve noticed the small sign of kindred spirits extended out car windows.

i watch for these hands fingering the breeze, twisting and turning into configurations against the wind. each one has their own style. some have a simple spread of the fingers as the current slips between digits. others cup their hand and ride the currents up and down. others are multitasking as they tap or shake a beat into the winds.  is hand surfing an acquired act or is it something that each of us born with this trait brings to organic fruition? is your hand surfing style a sort of fingerprint? maybe no one out there hand surfs in quite the same way…

and i assure you not everyone does it. not everyone is driven to extend his or her hand out into the air while on the road. we’re a select crowd. a small population that really has no chance of meeting anywhere else but on the road. occasionally i’ll pass another hand surfer. i feel confident in my feeling that there is no need for a wave, for we already have our hands out connecting in the way that seems most appropriate. sometimes i’ll pull up alongside another driver with his hand out and i’ll feel the small twinge of solidarity and know there is no need to even take the other driver in. we are already displaying the most important part of ourselves.  once, a few days ago, i was fortunate enough to be the 4th car in a line of hand surfers and i think that was the closest to free that i’ve felt in a long time.

for i know a little bit about who that person is inside by that simple extended hand. i know what they are reaching out for as they ride down the street. it’s that little bit of freedom. it’s the small, hibernating piece of our childhood that still believes that someday we’ll spread our wings and fly away. it’s a bit of rebellion that at least a part of us can be riding on the wind, even for a little while. it’s nostalgia taken human form.

as we head off into summer, i’m so thankful to see this fellowship of hand surfers out there on the roads. i realize that this is a piece of my childperson uncovered. riding down the road with my hand out of the window of the car would be my quintessential act of summertime. it sums it all up for me in a way that nothing else can: freedom, fresh air, sunshine, travel. a literal throw of caution to the wind.

and thank you to all of you kindred spirits out there for helping me usher in summer. i will look for you every memorial day weekend from now until the end of my driving days.


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