[The first day of Spring]
Lately, I’ve felt like I, the r-pod, the red Ford, Mariam and life in general have been shot out of a cannon. Our departure from the desert southwest happened so fast, I somehow missed the line that I could point out, photograph, and say: “Well, there goes the desert…we’re in the midwest now.”
Indeed, the world of this:
…changed into this before I could think of something to say:
Yes, I missed that line that separates the two geographic anchors of my life. My home in the North Country of New York State–and the engaging, terrifying and empty beauty of the arid lands. I’ve said it before–The Empty Quarter.
So, I’m sitting in the r-pod, on the first day of Spring. In two nights, I will see the fifth full moon rise–the fifth time I’ve looked eastward and waited for the big orange orb ascend. I don’t think I’ll have time to write a killer blog on this fifth moon (we will be on the road) so I’ll just say that it was close to full the other night I took this:
In this way, with the setting sun at our backs, we crossed the Missouri River just after leaving Kansas City. After a night in Columbia, Missouri, we finally caught sight of the Arch of St. Louis. The Arch represents the Gateway to the West, but we were coming out of the west. So, for us, it’s the Gateway to More Familiar Terrains–home.
We visited Union Station, once the largest train station in America. When I was there in 1989, the interior was a bustling and crowded shopping mall. Now, the stores were empty and yellow tape blocked the escalators and hallways. I asked someone about what happened and was told that it was going through a renovation. I hope so. The interior is stunning. There is a Doubletree Hotel located in the front portion of the terminal. The grand hallway, that now serves as a spacious lounge and bar, was jaw-dropping in its beauty. I saw stained glass:
…a ceiling that had a fabulous light show every hour…
I looked up at two statues, females that held lamps, high and proud…
I wondered if her bronze arms ever tired of holding the lamps so majestically…
I wondered if my arms will cease feeling the grip of the steering wheel. I wondered if I will sit on my back deck in a few weeks and be thankful for where I am and for what I’ve seen…or will I yearn for the Yucca and the Joshua tree? Will the Adirondack trees push in on me? Will I wonder what the heat of Death Valley will be like in June? Will I swat the infamous Black Fly and wish for a scorpion instead?
Will I ever be satisfied standing still?
Part of me wants to turn around and drive back into the desert, face my worries, think my thoughts and sing:
Pat, You remind me of Meriwether Lewis (that’s a compliment) who found it difficult to stay in one place even before his great expedition of the NW territory. You always seem to find adventure wherever you are. That’s a good thing.
Man, who sang that song…tumbling tumble weeds tumbling down….old country song. Nice blog….especially difficult knowing your adventure is coming to a close and you’re grateful for that, plus for all you have experienced….and knowing you will need a new adventure soon because your mind won’t accept any thing less!