I recently received Toyota magazine in my mailbox. First of all who ever knew that Toyota had it's own magazine, I didn't. I was intrigued by an article about an old Toyota Celica that this woman had owned for many years and still loved. This inspired me to write about my own Toyota experience and of course how it relates to yoga!
My husband and I have two Toyota's. The first is a 1997 Toyota Rav4 which I bought about a year before we met. It is white, it is small still has a tape deck. The clock works sometimes and sometimes not. When you go over a bump you feel it, and the radio goes on or off depending... The seat belt doesn't always re-tract but a good tug will make it happen. I have been in two accidents with her, one that was my fault and one that wasn't. Her steel construction is amazing and to quote the police officer after I was hit "they don't make 'em like that anymore: She has been to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, PEI and back as well as many road trips along the way. Occasionally she won't start but if you talk to her really nicely and stroke the dash after a few minutes she goes. She has never, ever let us down and is tried and true. Truth be told even though she is almost 14 years old and this is old for a car, I love her to death. You could say I am a little attached. She holds many, many memories from me from my single days, to married with children days and lots of other memories in between.
We recently had to have the little girl repaired. She has needed not much in her life. We replaced the gas tank a few years ago and she has had regular oil changes. New tires once and breaks once or twice. This repair was big, she needed brakes, rotors, and a very expensive new clutch. We struggled with what to do. We were not ready to get another new car (I'll get to that soon) and repairs are still cheaper than buying something new, another used car would put us into the same boat. So we bit the bullet and fixed her. I still love the feel of her when I drive. Her stick fits perfectly in my hand and the clutch still responds when I need it to. She is still what I prefer to drive.
On the other hand we have a 2011 Toyota Sienna. This is our family car. It fits our three children plus friends. Has a plug in for the Ipod and a CD player but I still use the radio. The climate control is amazing and you do feel in control. The seats stow and go for easy transportation of big shopping trips to the grocery store or Ikea. It too has been to Newfoundland, PEI and Nova Scotia - not to much else yet. You don't have to make sure the key is still in the lock to roll up the windows. It has a remote to lock and unlock the doors. Tons and tons of cup holders and storage. You would think that with a new car I would love it, I hate to say it but I don't.
You may say that maybe I'm just not a mini-van person and maybe that's right. I think there is more. I like the unpredictability of the Rav4, I love that she's been around the block and I have to listen to her needs. I think that my car is a reflection of me and with that a reflection of my practice. Sometimes I just don't drive her as fast as I could because she is older and needs a rest, she has had injuries that affect how she handles. I certainly wouldn't say that I am older and need a rest, but I do have some injuries that affect how I practice. I practice ahimsa with my little girl, my Rav, and try not to push her to hard. We don't take really long car trips (2 hours is about as far as I will go). Her new clutch is kind of like a repaired injury. We have repaired one spot but the engine is still old so I need to be careful.
My attachment issues are what gets me. I never thought I would get attached to a car but I totally am. Just the thought of her dying and having to trade her in or sell her makes my stomach churn. I know realistically that we can't keep her forever and that eventually I will have to let Baker's take her away for parts or whatever it is that they do... but I'm going to hold on as long as I possibly can. I know that attachment is not the yogic way but I just can't help it. Is it realistic to replace an entire engine when that finally goes.... maybe I can drive her forever...