on being westbound

i spent the past two and a half weeks driving from desert to mountain to forest to coast. i spent that time moving in order to avoid becoming stagnant and complacent. to bring back pieces to the east.

i fell asleep in the chisos basin of big bend, only to wake up to towering peaks that broke away into open space, and it was there we greeted the sunrise. there was a lot of cactus, a lot of space, a lot of broken rock that when you walked on them it sounded like wind chimes. the rio grande was a silky green that cut the land open like a healing wound and we dipped our feet in its hot springs. we climbed white sand dunes that filled our shoes. outside austin, we fell asleep to the sound of coyotes. we found other dimensions in new mexico. i swooned over magpies in telluride. i cried just in anticipation of the grand canyon. and then i cried some more. california was rolling green hills and yellow wildflowers and bright blue skies but also fog and the place where the mountains meet the sea. i left a rock in the middle of the golden gate bridge. ferns grew bigger than us in the redwoods. in oregon, we climbed to the top of a waterfall and navigated a map in its largest bookstore. 

there were a lot of colors. a lot of playing. a lot of climbing. many nights of laughing. puzzles. trails. animals. peaks. valleys. reunions.

i spent a lot of time touching things that felt really good to touch. and this realization traveled very deep into me.

the rio grande. rocks. sand. pieces of driftwood. the chandelier tree. the pacific. everything inside the house of eternal return. pieces of the flatirons. the south rim. enchanted rock. graffiti'd walls. tree bark. beetles. cactus spikes. the rail of the golden gate. rosemary found growing in a parking lot.

in a world that constantly bruises and stings and bites, i keep my hands to myself--a lot of things have come to cause me pain--but i spent two and a half weeks exploring everything through my palms and fingers. i spent all that time putting as much as possible as i could against my body. i began to instinctively reach out and run towards the things i wanted to Feel. and i remember that this is how i've always healed: by letting nature through me.

a lot of this past year i spent reevaluating my life relationships. it has not been a pleasant endeavor, but a necessary one. walking across the golden gate bridge reminded me of those relationships, of the ones that saved but also have weathered. the coast reminded me that the mountains will always pick up the slack when i don't feel the support i need. the grand canyon made me admit that lately i have not felt that It Will Be Okay; it reminded me to tell people i love them, to pause, to keep my pulse on the things that i love.

the flatirons rose like a compass welcoming me home. i wrote that the desert isn't dead nor an ending--it is everything but; it is nothing but alive and thriving. everywhere we went the land rose to meet us. the sun always rose. in every single state there were people waiting to embrace us.

i felt god in everything.

sharing this life is the only way to get through it.
S