The Leaf

I always dreamed of myself driving a candy-apple red convertible Porsche down a long tree lined drive to my two story stucco Tuscan summer home on the hill. The opalescent sunset on my face, the soft wind in my hair, with an Italian silk laces scarf around my neck floats wistfully behind me…

My dream of a tree lined driveway has come true. But it isn’t located in a Tuscan village in Italy. Instead, I live in a quiet country suburb of Seattle. The kind of small town where you will find one family run corner grocery, a church, a school and four taverns, all of which run along the main street overlooking a rushing river. I don’t drive a convertible – it wouldn’t be practical. The only thing shining down on my face where I live would be rain. Instead my husband bought me a Nissan Leaf – the first all-electric car.

The leaf is not nearly as sexy as a Porsche. In fact, I remember the day my husband was going to order the Leaf.  Before he did, he asked me this question, “Are you sure you like the way it looks? Are you certain you would feel comfortable driving it?” (What he was really asking me was: would I care what people think.) I laughed out loud at his questions and said, “Honey, no one buys a leaf for image.”

One buys a Leaf for practical or moral reasons, I told him (thinking to myself, doesn’t it suck to be 40 something and so responsible.) You buy a Leaf because it is the right thing to do, I heard myself say in a voice so convincing that I wasn’t sure if I was telling this story for his sake or for mine. In the back of my mind I tried to resist the urge to change my mind and beg him for my daydream of that candy-apple red Porsche or even the more practical but expensive gas guzzling 2012 fully loaded leather interior silver-grey Suburban (perfect for carting around a baseball team).

As I pondered my confusion I realized my dilemma. We all have a need to be seen and heard. I am confident that it is an innate desire. It begins at birth. We all arrive at how we will be seen and heard differently. Some buy flashy cars and houses. Some get attention by being aggressive and negative. Others do good deeds to be recognized. Many seek to be seen and heard through relationships. But what I know for a fact is that no car or person or good deed will ever fill the desire to be seen or heard for more than a moment in time. The only person that can fulfill those needs in our lives is God. He is the one who created us, accepts us wholly, and knows everything about us.

I have had my Leaf for about a year now and I love it. Not only does it remind me that I made the right chose in car buying, but it reminds me that there is nothing I can do to change God’s mind about me. He will always see me and hear me regardless of what I do or drive. That is better than a candy-apple red convertible Porsche any day!


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