I feel like a cattail that’s gone to seed and my altared space today is where I’m planting myself. Have you ever felt you’re reseeding yourself? Like you’re not so much becoming someone altogether new, but really and truly growing into yourself? That’s how I feel these days. And it sounds a little corny when I write it like that. I guess I’m corny.
I just took a drive across Colorado, Utah and Arizona. Big states. I was amazed at the ether I felt from all that space and driving through it instead of flying helped me to soak it up.
I am drawn to rocks. This driving trip was a mini-Mecca for a rock worshipper like me. Monument Valley alone holds a temple of rocks towering up out of the earth. Not to mention Moab and Kayenta.
I was alone in the car. My ipod kept me company until it broke and then I had hours and hours of silence or the sound of the rain on the streets and windows to keep me company.
It’s amazing how much there is inside one little girl’s head. It feels so good to let it out and have a look or leave it on the pavement behind me. I drink the independence of my own schedule. I stop when I want to stop. I choose my own drink and eat my own food. While I love my kids and husband dearly, without them to accommodate I love finding out what I love too.
I love to linger and double back. I am such a tigger in life, always bouncing with energy. This slow lingering energy surprises me. I retrace my steps on my hike or on the drive when something catches my eye. I get out and walk around in the places that beckon.
The wind was blowing something fierce. Tumbleweeds were something I studied in elementary school. I’d heard how they could do damage to cows by blowing smack into one, but they seemed so tame every time I’d seen them blowing about. On this drive, however, a giant one rolled across the highway and I had no time to brake or swerve. I had to hit it and the racket it made was deafening. It sent a chill up my arms. I felt the reverberation all the way through the car. On the plus side, it felt like barreling through a fear and coming out on the other side in one piece.
My eye catches these roadside altars. As I drove on in silence I said a little prayer for the people who are maintaining this one with such grace. Is this a mother who lost her child? All of us drive by. The world goes on and, maybe, someone glances at the spot where life forever changed for someone else. I’m not making a judgment about how I should have noticed sooner or how my life should be something different because life here has changed for this family. I have a ridiculously happy life and I build altars to that every day that no one ever sees. I’m just noticing someone else’s altar I suppose.
I adore the juxtapositions held by the west. This lonely mural in the middle of these towering rocks offered a place where horses gathered on this cloudy afternoon. The muted colors of the weather, the paint and the sandstone combined and the melancholy dug its way deep within. The horses’ journeys felt as vast as my mood and the clouds. We were all one.
I love this photo; the line of cars in my mirror and the rocks out my window. It feels as haunting and as breath-taking as that moment. I was alone but not. The rocks were hugging me. The cars behind me seemed to all be having a shared experience. We were fellow vagabonds, gazing at the miracle of the West.
A river and rocks together: is there a better pairing in all the universe?
I feel the rush of independence as all this western space creeps in and recalibrates by blood. I am juiced. I am settled. I feel well planted. I will travel alone again.
Have you ever traveled alone? What do you find that surprises you? Do you enjoy driving in the rain? Are you a rock and tree person or do you prefer the sites of skyscrapers and the bustle of people? What is your ether?