Journeying On

End of day 2 on the road. I remember most well the colors: purples and blue-grays and speckled granite… talcum white rocks and pearly powder on my feet, dusty greens scattered on gold, plum, mauve, rose, orange and horse-track brown, chestnut, tan and dry blues.  The rocks. They are pink and orange and red. I wish I could better describe to you the majesty that surrounds me, but I am at a loss for words. Words would bind beauty into boxes. The rocks are not pink and orange and red; they are touched by the fingertips of a sunset. They are… constantly changing, yet always the same.

I am beginning to understand a little bit of Christopher McCandless’s heart. The nomad life, a life of unexpected twists and turns… is quite worth living. To pick up and leave and go wherever you are called to go, to carry your belongings, the entirety of them, on your back, to walk barefoot on the craggy rocks and let your feet sink low into the powdery sand, to dirty them by the riverbanks where rapids rush and streams slow…

I am in the car with five others and a shaved dog who pants heavily in the heat. There is no air conditioner, only the desert, an endless road. Only the hot wind, a gentle and ferocious thing that turns everything green to gold. And sometimes all I see is my own hair blowing. Sometimes all I see is sun. Sometimes all I see is dust. My eyes are thirsty for green.

But with honesty, I am enjoying the desert land, this dry and dusty, desolate place where everyone’s lives have been packed into the summer months, where license plates are rusty reminders that we come from all different walks of life. I am enjoying living day-to-day, with prayers in my heart as I realize the weakness of man and the smallness of life. I am happy in my skin that sweats and breathes and reminds me that it is a good time to be alive.

So we journey on, the car full of books and journals and unfinished sentences. Full of bare essentials like a portable stove and bottled water, blankets, and songs for the long drive to a place unknown.

Happiness is only real when shared, McCandless wrote. I am happy to share my space with five others and a smelly little dog. Happy to be journeying on. Happy to be alive.


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