Recently, a new subscriber made the most adorable comment, saying she’d like to come along for the “Chasing Light” journey, “if there’s still room.” Good news! There is an infinite amount of space for fellow sojourners! The more, truly the merrier. A three-fold welcome to all of you women and men who have opted in for this wild ride!
We just topped 200 subscribers, and there are even more of you reading who aren’t yet subscribed. Wahoo! And because I am a writer, because I think in images, and because these images are happening in my head, coming out of my imagination, anything is possible, right? (Also, I’m in Sedona, so I might have wandered into a vortex…)
Anyway, to my great delight, here is how I am seeing our collective trek:
A quadruple-decker vehicle with extra wheels that can be rolled out to the side, for extra rooms – dens with bookcases full of books, parlors with small cozy fireplaces. Kitchens with pans of hot lasagna and big bowls of crisp salad populating long counters, and dining rooms with bottles of wine and decanters of brandy and a keg here and there of good dark beer. Greenhouses full of herbs and flowers, where the sun streams in through high atria. Wide lavatories with Jacuzzis, bubbling with warm fragrant water.
On the very top there is an enormous sundeck, where solar panels drink in the sun, and so do we. Some of us are in shorts and t-shirts, flip-flops, smelling of suntan lotion, light winking from our sunglasses. Some of us are naked, stretched out in the in the bright hot sun like contented cats.
Several lob volleyballs back and forth. Some of us are sitting in corners under brightly-hued umbrellas, reading quietly or listening intently – to Handel’s Water Music or Benny Goodman or Etta James or George Clinton or Sylvan Esso; or taking in a recorded book or a brain-stimulating podcast – via headphones.
Some of us are in flowing jewel-colored caftans – garnet, and jade, and rich yellows – the wind blowing the silky sleeves away from our strong arms.
Some are meditating. Some are praying.
Trios and quartets and a few small choirs coalesce, a cappella voices traveling into the air. Someone pulls out a guitar. Then a mandolin. Then a fiddle. Someone else produces a djembe.
We are hanging off the ever-expanding vehicle’s sides, feeling the wind on our faces, as we roll along the freeway, bounce down new two-lane state highways that bisect new landscapes. We play ping-pong on the lower deck, calculating the variations for hitting a small plastic ball weighing 2.7 grams in one direction while traveling 65mph in another. We loll in hammocks that rock us to sleep. Our conveyance is powered by sunlight, cold fusion, and love.
And if I have not said it enough, let me say it now: Thank you for coming along! I am honored to be in your company!
I love knowing you all are with me as I coast past large cities on wide multi-lane freeways and cruise along small towns’ narrow streets. You gape in amazement with me at the white sands at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico; at the blue-gray Spanish moss in Louisiana; at the ochre desert in Texas; at the bright yellow blooms along New Mexico highways; at the red rocks in Sedona.
You’re with me as I hang my head out the window and tentatively back up into my newest camping spot. You are the ones peering past my shoulder as we watch the sun go down. In my mind’s eye, together we bear witness to stars winking in a brand new sky.
Here is the thing: I’ve talked with fellow solo travelers I’ve met along the way, and we all agree – the loneliness can sometimes be crushing. Of course, part of the point of the journey is to go it alone. We remind each other, it is a way of testing our mettle, seeing what we are made of. An intentional way of being singularly with our own thoughts enough to sort through the clamor inside our heads; of releasing old griefs and regrets, or figuring out the big transition we might have come awake into. And of taking in our surroundings with only our own thoughts and perceptions as filters, slowing down to absorb and process.
But, oh, the loneliness. I’m here to tell you. It’s a thing.
And then, like the water that refreshes those thirsty willows I’ve been longing to see, one of you sends a comment, a thought, a reminder, an encouraging word. You share bits of your story. Fragments of your dreams. Spare bits of joy. The lines and texture and shading of the pictures of your own intended journeys as they are coming into view for you. And just like that, a day that seemed empty is populated with friends.
So thank you for being part of “Chasing Light.” If you are new and haven’t yet done so, you may want to go here to read the first post, the “because” and “wherefore” and the “thus” and “so” of the journey’s genesis. An inkling of what we might be in for. (Who is to say? I’m only 1/3 of the way into this pilgrimage!)
I sign off tonight with gratitude. More about Sedona in the next post. And vortexes. And a mysterious singing crystal bowl. Until then, have a great week, everyone.