“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” ~ Isabelle Eberhardt ~ [The Nomad]
Typing that last punctuation on the final page of a last edit has brought up a sense of letting go a good friend which has kept me company for the past five months. Bittersweet it is. I wanted to hang on to it but I must let go. The personal challenge has been overcome. Done, finished. Seven years of wandering dictated more days than one by our mistress Mother Nature, a circle of an astonishing diameter closed in on a stage containing interminable events of life’s lessons, experiences, break downs and help, questions with no answers, many new friends, miles of dust, gallons of fuel, many meals prepared, thousands of photos taken, over 100 videos rendered, and a dog who stood by me every second of the way. No just any dog. Spirit. My buddy who rescued me when I rescued him.
As myself, he now has some gray hair showing up here and there. Not as many as I do, yet surfacing as a proof of these times having passed by us or is it, as I more often think, us passing by time. He still clowns like a puppy as he is approaching 10 and catching up with me. He is my entertainment and so much more.“It’s just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn’t it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.” ~ John Grogan ~. On this first day when now those 82,000 words, which I am told translates into 320 pages, have been stored awaiting publishing, I am literally a bit lost while I ask myself "And now what? What do I do?" I am calling these times present, our new found freedom, a new beginning, but the weather today is not agreeing with my thoughts. The desert can be so harsh and demanding. In this what I always think must be the world’s dustiest environment, the winds are blowing between 30 to 50 mph and the visibility cannot be more than half a mile.
More time has lapsed between these paragraphs and I can now say "It is a done deal". The manuscript, the cover photos, they all have been sent to a very highly recommended publisher. It is now "sweet", I shall forget and let go of the "bitter" aspect. It is a relief and two to three months down the road it will be the birth of a new book, one amongst millions of others as I am very well aware of that fact, but it will be "our book". It is what counts for me. This completion is a big day for us, one I can hardly believe. A day dedicated, as our book is, to Lance and my Mother which might be showing us their appreciation by blowing these breaths of winds. Pretty amazing I must say.
Our first lazy day in a long time. The process has sucked out all my mental and physical energy and today I crashed. I looked at this clock and it was already telling me the lateness of the day. These hands which now will be put away in some obscure corner and can, will, collect the dust which fills us here. Packing awaits so we can roll away and once again turn back on this channel of ours called "the roads". We are always ready to go as I wonder if the day will ever come when we are not, when we will be content to just set roots and join the mundane path of a daily routine which to me right now only brings on an image of a stage with steel doors and a multitude of padlocks.
We are going to take the path we took years ago and head to Florida first where I will renew my driver’s license. Then up to Georgia where a good friend of mine has kept four boxes left behind from over seven years ago. Besides a couple photo albums, I have no idea of their content. Obviously I have not needed them, will I soon? Visiting a few good "old" friends in Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and we will try to get back early May to enjoy Southern Utah as in mainly "Valley of the Gods" and "Muley Point". Old Faithful will be ready after some oil changes and Spirit, well, he is always ready.
The Oasis here has been a home. As always, a stage I want to leave and yet, as soon as a few miles away, want to come back to. There is no other piece of land as here throughout the whole country. This stage has been so perfect to write a book surrounded only by silence, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets witnessed daily, no check out time, no traffic and pollution. That would include air and light pollution. We really have not gone anywhere per say, there was no need as we are already there. Here.
Ara and Spirit