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On the Road Again

The lyrics of the Willie Nelson song resonated, as my husband and I drove East toward Texas along
Route 10. Chaparral gave way to grasslands, finally becoming desert. The road straightened out, and we
gazed over the miles of sagebrush, distant mountains visible in every direction. Texas -bound we
motored through southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico, on a route we hadn’t taken for

We’d promised ourselves that one day we’d go down and visit the Rio Grande River where it slices
through the canyons and arroyos of southwest Texas and the Chihuahua desert of northern Mexico. As
we drove, I remembered how much I love long rides on the open road. As travelers, we were no
different than any of the people we met or passed along the way: tourists, families, truckers, workers.
All forging a path across the vastness of the American Southwest. We were looking forward to hanging
out with some old friends at Big Bend National Park.

The desert landscape glowed in the late afternoon sun as we pulled up to our lodgings. The next few
days we became immersed in the natural world of the park. We hiked up and down the sides of
canyons. We watched as the cacti and the ocotillos sprouted yellow and orange flowers and
roadrunners skittered around on the ground while ravens and eagles flew high in the endless sky. And
we gawked as we watched groups of hikers, bikers, and jeep tour riders go by.

Each of us, in our way, felt some of our urban sensibilities stripped away. Paying attention to the
environment around us let us feel wonder and delight as the desert darkened when clouds overhead
rolled by. Rainstorms far away in another part of the desert got our attention, our reptilian brains
reminding us to be vigilant should there be a flash flood.

One day we found ourselves at a hot spring down by the river. After a short and dusty hike, we put our
bare feet in a warm pool. Hot water seemed to bubble up out of nowhere. We joined the others there
already enjoying a blissful soak.

Even as we relaxed , a small dust storm that came out of nowhere headed straight towards us. We
closed our eyes as it blew over us. All around us, people were speaking many different languages:
French and Spanish, German, English and Japanese. Such joy surged through me that we were alive in
such a vibrant, diverse, and exotic spot.

Long road trips are like a transcendental meditation experience. Being somewhere else. Moving fast in
time and space through an unfamiliar landscape. Allowing a time out from the everyday. Going deep
and reassessing who we are and what we are doing, individually and collectively.

Our journey was winding down. We drove back West, the same way we’d come, feeling lighter, better,
and more hopeful for what was yet to come. All around us was Mother Earth, the Divine Feminine. The
holy energy of creation from which all life springs. The divine energy that nurtures us and asks only that
we do the same, listening to and caring for each other and all living creatures on our beautiful planet. As
we kept driving, the landscape shifted once again, the abundant Universe all around us, guiding us on
our journey home.

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