My husband took this picture of me today as we hiked along a portion of the Continental Divide Trail at Cottonwood Pass. I had no idea I was posing for such an ethereal scene. I felt on top of the world.
Last night, there was too much noise.
There was enough noise and mayhem to send me running for the sleeping bags and outdoor gear.
We’re heading out of the city to unplug, recharge, refocus and relax.
I’ve traveled in too many directions lately, juggled too many balls. This week, I lost my way and dropped all the balls. I feel a little like Humpty Dumpty. This is surely a sign that I need a break.
I need to get away from a lot of things. Mainly I need a break from the noise.
Yesterday, within a few miles of our home, a home exploded from a natural gas leak, then a tanker truck crashed on the freeway, resulting in multiple explosions, causing a raging inferno, followed by a bridge collapse.
Once I read about the accident online (thank you, Twitter) the wail of sirens, the buzzing of helicopters, which must have been in the background all along, came to the fore. Toss in the jerk neighbor and his endless supply of illegal fireworks and the marching band practicing two blocks away and you get the idea of the Symphony of Chaos.
Independently, these things do not bother me. I like marching bands. Fireworks, when ample warning is given or it’s a holiday, are dandy. A random siren, a chopper overhead, are not really a big deal to me. Last night, the cacophony nearly unhinged me.
I had a hard time falling asleep last night. Too much to worry about. Not much in the way of solutions. Not to mention the thoughts about all the folks involved in these disasters. What traumas are they working through today?
It’s time to escape for a few days. It’s time to get off the grid. It’s time to unplug and unwind.
I know not everyone is into camping or roughing it. It’s a lot of work. But it renews my spirit to follow the rhythms of nature.
We will not have: television, cable, Internet service, or electricity of any sort. We will not have running water. Phone service will be spotty at best.
We will have: peace broken only by birds calling, deer snorting, assorted woodland creatures gnawing and shuffling and clawing about. We will have the sunrises and sunsets to ourselves. We will have a starry night to take our breath away, complete with shooting stars, and if we are lucky, aurora borealis.
While I am breaking out in hives and hyperventilating about the idea of disconnecting, I know it’s what my soul needs now.
I need time to wake up with the sunrise and bird calls, to collect fire wood and cook over an open flame. I need to spread a blanket on the forest floor, crack open a book, and read or daydream or write stories in long hand. I need meditation time on the banks of a woodsy stream.
I tell myself that I do not need to know what’s going on with everyone and everything at every given moment. I do not need to relive Michael Jackson’s hair fire or to know whether the Jonas Brothers are still chaste.
So, I’m giving the keyboard a rest. I won’t be Facebooking; I’ll be facing a book. I won’t be tweeting but I’ll be listening to the chatter of birds. I won’t be blogging, but I will be gathering logs and maybe even hiking by a bog. Maybe I’ll carry some logs along a bog.
I hope it’s quiet where you are.
Long walk. Big park. Pretty sunset. No worries.
There are probably 50 reasons why I shouldn’t go on a vacation right now. The biggest one being practicality.
To that I say, pfft!
I’ve had it with practicality. Where has it gotten me in the last few years? We did most everything by the book, played by the rules, and where did it get us? Right in this big stinking heap of trouble with just about everyone else — including all the rule-breakers.
Who the heck ever had fun being practical?
The opportunity to tag along on another one of husband’s business trips presented itself to me earlier this year and I said: “I’m going along, whatever it takes. I am not sitting home watching snow melt while you lounge by the pool sipping fancy drinks and watching cactus silhouettes weave against the western sunset.”
I think I had him at “weaving cactus.” We made it work. We are going to Scottsdale, Arizona, for five days.
So I’m trading this view:
Is there really any debate? It will be so easy to get away from all that is dragging down this rustbelt utopia. The city council will continue its circus act without my audience. The auto companies will either bounce or crash, taking our future along with them.
It will be so easy to just let it all slip away as the plane ascends and heads west. Some day we will make this journey and we will not look back. Some day soon.
I woke up this morning, boarded a plane and watched the landscape evolve from 30,000 feet above the earth. My land of lakes and streams and woods slipped away to open farmland and rippling plains that surrendered to the jagged peaks of the Rockies and ended in an oasis in the desert. As each mile faded behind me, so too did the layers of stress that threatened to suffocate me in the last few weeks. By the time we arrived in our destination, I felt 10 pounds lighter and actually smiled at strangers.
Can you guess where I am right now? I’d have pictures but *someone* forgot to pack her digital camera’s card reader.
Let’s put it this way: I can visit Paris, Venice, the Sahara all in one shuttle trip around town.
Yup, you go it. Sin City.
Not my first choice for a family trip with a toddler. But we had the opportunity to go. I am not one to pass on travel opportunities.
It’s always surreal to me to leave home in the cold and wet and dark and arrive somewhere that offers sun and heat and palm trees. And people live here! This is their life. I imagine what that must be like. To see mountains on the horizon as you move about your day. Appreciate that if you do because I am so freakin’ jealous.
After only one day in Vegas, I’ve made the following observations:
There are a lot of people with a lot of money to burn in this town.
There are a lot of people here who look like they cashed in their life savings to be here.
Some people move around the casinos on Segways.
Some couples buy matching “Las Vegas” outfits to wear around town.
For the record, I am not and have never been a gambler. I’ll not be rolling dice or wrestling the one-armed bandit.
More to come.