Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Of Life, Beauty and Gratitude

After four days of life at Pancho Villa State Park and a few quick jaunts across the border into Palomas, Mexico (today being the day for me to have an inexpensive dental cleaning), we finally made a move and headed towards the town of Deming, not more than 35 miles away.

Our leave-taking from Columbus was slow, with a stop at the border for the aforementioned dental appointment, a quick fix to a faulty valve stem on a tire, lunch in town, and an overdue washing of the rig by an enterprising young man who power-washed months of grime from our 6-ton white beast. We also had to stop at City of the Sun one last time to say goodbye to our new friend with whom we share many commonalities and a wonderfully friendly rapport.

The ride to Deming was absolutely lovely, with yellow flowers blooming across the desert floor and the backdrop of the mountains creating a simply stunning setting on either side of the open road.

After a few errands in Deming, we made our way to Rockhound State Park, yet another strikingly beautiful spot surrounded by mountains and dotted by desert flowers and cacti in blossom. People come to Rockhound to collect rocks and gemstones, and every visitor is allowed to take up to fifteen pounds of stones or gems during a visit to the park.

A friendly couple from the Pacific Northwest who had noticed our rig over in Columbus came by to say hello, and I ended up spending several hours talking with them around their campfire this evening. We shared stories of the road and what it was like to divest ourselves of our former lives and take the risk of creating a new itinerant life, untethered (at least temporarily) by the trappings of our previous incarnation as homeowners. Like us, they sold everything and are in search of a new place to call home, and finding another couple in a similar circumstance is both heartening and encouraging. This level of being untethered can be unnerving, and talking to others having a similar experience can help to normalize it to some extent.

With almost six months on the road under our belt, we have hit our stride on some levels, and on another level we find ourselves pining for some sense of rootedness again. That sense of rootedness will certainly manifest at just the right time, and there's no doubt in my mind that, once rooted, we will once again pine for the wonders and uncertainty of the road. It's all a cycle and a continuing adventure, and I can see that our next chapter post-journey will in many ways simply be a continuation of this very same journey upon which we are currently engaged.

Sitting under the stars around a campfire tonight with new friends, I was struck by just how lucky and blessed we are to be here, to be so free, and to have this opportunity that many people would give anything to have for even a few days. It is a privilege to be doing what we are doing, and when I look at those stars, sense the enormity of the mountains around us, and take in the sounds and smells and sights of the land, I feel deep gratitude for being right here, right now. May I never lose sight of my relative privilege, and may I always connect with the sense of awe and gratitude that my freedom engenders. To be amidst such beauty is indeed something for which to be grateful, and I go to sleep this evening feeling that gratitude deep in my heart.


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