“Life is like a road trip. We may appreciate the smooth stretches, but the bumps in the road are what truly make the Journey memorable.” Susan Gale
It is dark, still, quite cold, 9 degrees and oh so quiet. There is a slice of moon pinned in the upper left hand corner of the sky. It reminds me of a Henri Rousseau, the French post-impressionist painter done in the Naïve or Primitive manner. I stare at the simplicity of natural beauty before me through the mud and sand streaked lines of my icy windshield. I sense they are symbolic of and mirror the lines that have settled upon my face, as I travel back to my origins, my true roots. Had I stayed in California just one more month, I would have lived in California longer than I did in New York. This was not intentional, it is serendipitous. Each passing rusted, billboard sign is plastered with a personal memory of mine as if to remind me of each lesson and life experience that I am bringing back with me and leaving behind, all at the same time. They are my growth chart, marked with pencil on the wall, to measure my Life's progress.
I stare at the reflective, silver desert floor as I make my descent down into Pumpernickel Valley. The isolated highway of dotted white lines is for my eyes only this morning. An unending, undulating, curly ribbon leading me home to my next chapter, my new life as a single New Yorker once again. I adjust and wiggle into the new/old title that has an added “skooch” more room for comfort, since the last time I wore it.
Cathartic experiences insert themselves into one's Journey at the oddest of times. I am listening to "Everything but the Girl" and have heard it hundreds of times, I'm sure. Each song however, has a brand, new meaning and perspective as if they had foreshadowed what was to come. Is it possible that my perspective and life view has changed that radically or am I just a completely different embryonic being now?! Maybe I never really listened to the words that carefully and just sang each one without really feeling or understanding them. Is it the loss that is feeding shovels full of coal into the raging fire of awareness, this new awakening? Clarity? Can everything REALLY feel this magical and senses SO heightened? Free of bills, life pressures and technology, this is a heavenly limbo. I am a soaring raven in this dense blackness.
The sound of ice crackling under my tires sounds unnerving at times. A shattered mirror of the past. It calls me back to the road.
Life IS never what you expect. Perhaps that IS the ironic beauty of it. Absurdity. Disillusionment.
I pull my journal from the handful of dress shirts that I stuffed in the back of my Toyota Rav 4, with the rest of the few items that I took with me from my 30 years in California. I will need them while seeking new employ. I had planned on shipping everything back initially, but as usual plans were changed on me by Universal circumstance. I have learned to become flexible, which is a good skill to have as we grow older. “What if I just left it all behind?” I thought. What if there had been a fire, tornado or earthquake and I had lost everything? How many times have I seen a solitary person on the news clasping a single photo to their chest among the ruins of what used to be their life?
QUESTION: How can a person fit 30 years of their life into the back of an SUV? ANSWER: They can’t.
What is most important in this Life, I have with me.
I do not need to wrap it in newspaper or bubble wrap. It doesn’t need to be put into a plastic bin for safe travel. I have a few mementos and keepsakes. Everything else, I have stored, in my heart and in my memory. While it initially was difficult to accept as an option and solution, ultimately it has set me free. Prisons can sometimes be beautiful, deceiving and aren’t all ugly, difficult or painful. The door has been flung open and shackles removed. I move effortlessly across this vast, beautiful, diverse land of possibilities. I may physically be in the state of Nevada, but I am already home…