I went on a little trip after Christmas. Down south. Down to a place I called home over 20 years ago. To a place I hadn’t returned to since, as my best friend at the time said via Facebook, I left school on the last day of 4th grade and never came back.
The whole drive down I tried to weave myself a story of what it would be like. What would happen? Would the stories that had slowly been written over the past month end up truthful, or a figment of my imagination? But then, with 212 miles to go until Tucson, I realized that I had nothing to write my story with. No setting, no plot, nothing. And instead of fighting it, I settled into a sense of surrender. Something was going to happen and all I could do was show up to each moment as presently, as grounded, and as honestly as I could.
Sometimes it’s best not to have a story. It’s best not to have expectations. It’s best to let it all unfold, moment by moment, seeking beauty in every situation, appreciating the realization that we get to choose our reality, and sitting with the gratitude that comes with experiencing the pure love of life.
It was a trip of living intently, of binging on life, and soaking in everything it had to offer. This is what it looked like.
Day 1. Trails straight from town. Fading evening light. Landscapes so foreign yet so familiar my brain didn’t know how to process them.Shadows growing longer by the minute. Soaking up the sunshine with a firm goal of not having to put knee warmers on. Desert warmth. Desert sun.Oddities and endities. You never know what you’re going to find in the desert. The challenge lies in being comfortable with the uncomfortable, with the scary, and the unknown.The best Christmas present EVER!Ponies, dressed to the nines, resting in the sun while their wranglers went to chase javelinas. There’s something freeing about being able to pack up bikes with three days worth of food and going.Scenes that still don’t seem real, even after flipping through pictures countless times. Pony love. Universal love. Sunshine love.Non-stop questioning of reality. Is this real? Really real? I do believe so.Not-real. Yet so real.Analyze less. Feel more. Soak the bigness of it all in. It’s a big world out there, so much to see, so much to do, this was just one more little corner of it.Saying goodbye to the sun each night after a day lived to the fullest.Only to be able to say hello to the moon.Appreciating the moments of quiet.As much as appreciating the moments of exuberance.Sometimes, all one needs is a can of salmon, some salsa, a block of cheese and some corn tortillas to feel like the luckiest person alive.After a day spent behind the clouds, the sun came out just long enough to bless those who worship her.There is unbounded magic for those who seek.I don’t claim to have all the answers in this life, but what I do know is that when I find something beautiful, I’m going to embrace it for all that I’m worth, because in the end, happiness is all that we’ve got.