We have been on the road for 5 months now and perhaps the biggest lesson we have learned, is that no matter how much you plan, tomorrow will take care of itself.
I have been reading a lot about women (in particular) who had a real and palpable connection to something that inevitably ended up driving their lives in some way. Travel, art, writing, love…getting lost.
I have always loved art. In all forms, but primarily I obsess with sculpture and photography. For most of my life I have loved learning about the uniqueness of artists and the quirks (i.e. the good stuff) that seem to follow them. One artist in particular I have loved reading about is Georgia O’Keeffe. She and I share a love of the Southwest and in particular, New Mexico. The landscape is harsh and unforgiving but it’s the most amazing and spectacularly lit place I have ever been. When Georgia spent her summers at Ghost Ranch, one of her favorite things to paint was Pedernal, the flat-topped mountain to the south of her property. She said, “It’s my private mountain. God told me if I painted it enough I could have it.” That quote didn’t make her crazy, it showed how very deeply connected she was to the land that she loved.
On this journey (so far), we have managed to make it through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and California. It’s funny to say this but I am in love with all of them and feel connected in very different ways for very different reasons. When Chris and I lived in the Mid-West, we dreamed of Seattle…the fog, the mountains, the sea, the GREEN. It didn’t disappoint, we fell head over heels in love the moment we moved there. We loved it so much that when we started on this journey we (silently) said we would never be able to love some place more and surely would find ourselves returning to live there eventually.
Then we found the coast of Oregon and the forests, and the fish, and the sand, and the GREY made our hearts swell.
Once we stumbled up the mountains of Idaho and Utah we knew we were hooked. The fall leaves, the cliffs, the crisp air, and the YELLOW.
Next we meandered through the New Mexico and Arizona…and those sunsets, and cactus, and canyons, and RED reminded us that this place is full of magic.
Lets not forget California…the palm trees, the salty ocean, the sun, the BLUE…it’s a dream isn’t it?
I guess what I have decided is that this country is magnificent and splendid and full of people and places we want to see. I always thought that a big part of our journey was to “try on” all these states, cities and climates to decide where we wanted to land eventually. Now I think that the point is to see them, love them and appreciate the fact that WE WERE THERE and we were connected to these places and for that to simply be enough.
In the past 5 months we have filled our cameras with pictures of these amazing places, the sunsets, the water, the food, the people…the unexpected. When we look back in a year or two, I think we are going to realize how lucky we are to live in a country where you can go anywhere, do anything and live a life of your own creation. A very real lesson to stop worrying about tomorrow (where we will land) and to appreciate this journey and each new place as it reveals itself to us in it’s own unique and beautiful way.
“It was all so far away – there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased” Georgia O’Keeffe