When I was thirteen years old my mother bought a white Morris Minor called Blossom. Thus began my love affair with cars. She was the car I learnt to drive in (I know it was illegal). No mean feat because you had to double the clutch a lot to get her to respond.
Blossom was rusty, the floorboards kept threatening to fall out, she leaked and there was copious other things wrong with her. But I loved her. Being a Morris she was simple to fix and my mother took her engine out and fixed her herself.
You might say that since then I have become a bit Toad of Toad Hall in my response to seeing a car I like. My eyes glaze over and all I can think is Toot Toot, Peep Peep.
So here is my dilemma. I now know that we need stop using cars where possible for so many different reasons. And I don’t mean until a gas free car becomes freely available. I mean forever.
Here are the many reasons to leave the car behind.
- Walking is good for you. Not just your body, but your mind as well.
- You see things out walking that you miss driving at 30MPH.
- It’s good for rebuilding communities. People interact more when they are walking around. You see what’s going on in your community.
- You might meet someone who will change your life. A lover or just a friend.
- You learn things every time you walk somewhere, see something you hadn’t seen before, even if’s it the same route you walk every day. Today on my way to work I saw a job advertised in a shop window. I wouldn’t have seen that from a car.
- Nature is the best reason. At the moment in the mornings the starlings are playing on the Meadows in Edinburgh. They are amazing to watch.
So many more reasons that there are too many to name.
Part of my doing the Appalachian Trail is to encourage people to give up their cars even if it’s just for one day a week. But deep inside of me I will still stand and watch glassy eyed when a pretty car goes past and my mind will be going Toot toot, Peep peep.