There’s something about a road trip, evocative of sweet youth, spontaneous wildness, touching what’s tucked away inside, a place that begs exposure. Something about the open road, potential around each bend, brings me alive in a way different than other experience. The way we arrived at road-tripping the southwest for ten days was so random, and grew out of spending time at our favorite Sedona locale last Fall.
I totally remember this September morose self-indulgent moment, a feeling that was probably best left unspoken. But speak I did, telling sweet hubby that maybe I would never be able to come back to this beloved place. Mortality was looming large. Unbeknownst to me, he went straight to the motel office, reserved the exact same room for three days and returned to report that we would be back in May right after my birthday. So much for gloomy self-pity.
As the months went by, as we moved through all the healing hoops of winter, hubby kept adding destinations beyond the days in Sedona. Until it morphed into a full-fledged road trip. With everything else on my plate, journey anticipation was this soft mostly buried nugget, providing muted sparks of pleasure whenever it floated into my awareness. Now I’m home and reflecting on our time away and it tickles me the way the rhythms, in dreamy devotion, unwaveringly drove this journey.
The road trip/wave began, as most excursions do, gathering up what we might need, misguided as we were. For me, pre-trip time in San Antonio with my dad, feeling his continued heart-full physical presence in my life, was part of that preparation. By the time we flowed into Sedona, we were primed for the sweet staccato skill that hovers between letting things unfold and making them happen.
That focused energy—maps, destinations, timing, clarity—lasted through our time in the Grand Canyon. But what’s a trip without some chaos? The weather was to provide everything in the unpredictability department. Everywhere we went locals talked about the unusual rain and extreme cold. Exactly what we did not pack for. Every available layer was coating my body and I was still cold. But at least for a few days in Sedona and Grand Canyon I wasn’t wet. It was magic how every time we wanted to be outside it stopped raining.
Finally in Monument Valley the confluence of cold and wet just threw me for a loop around crazy. Weeping in rental car, looking at scenery I loved, totally unwilling to be out in it. My tantrum lasted about fifteen minutes. In the scheme of personal growth, I consider this good news. Tears ushered in the comforting relief of letting go. Letting go of what? Attachment to things being a particular way. Like dry and warm. Somehow we fumbled along, recognized the ironic perfection and found a way to mostly enjoy this iconic landscape.
The next morning, after slurping up breakfast at a down home café in way-small-town Blanding (waitress right out of Five Easy Pieces), we stepped out into the rain and spotted a thrift shop right next door. Open at nine in the morning. How lyrical can you get? We arrived in Ouray along with the rain (and then snow) fully dressed for total enjoyment. Did I mention the natural hot springs right outside our room? And the best dinner of the whole trip?
After Ouray we had a two-day journey back to Phoenix. The extended hush of muffled car sounds, early dinner enchiladas and tamales, do not pass go-head straight to bed in Gallup. An utterly motionless afternoon in Tempe, finishing my book in a pool-side chaise lounge, that last sunset, a dive into the luxury of clean linen. Stillness working its magic.
Took a full day home to gather up the energy to begin again: shopping, laundry, patients, restaurant, classes, upcoming workshop. Definitely moving in staccato last couple days. Curious about the inevitable lurk of chaos. Counting on the lyrical that seems to always follow, treasuring stillness more with every passing year.
Really looking forward to teaching Moving from Inside Out with Kim Wagaman Saturday June 1 . Because when I retreat, when I step away from the usual (see above list), whether it’s a week or one day, whether I teach or am a student…it’s only then that the shapes and repetitions that build into a life become visible, perspective emerges, insight has a fighting chance. It’s truly magic when the two of us collaborate. Click on that link to join us.
Happy trails to you….love, bella