~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Changing Smile

Road Trip.
My 'fix.'
Journey to the pines, the mountains, hours away.
Changing tapestry leads me on further and further; I could have continued for days.
Expanding vistas above and below, desert cactus giving way to grassy meadows in the high plains, as sharp sun eases into a pillow of clouds where at one point they create a rectangle around pale blue sky, like cotton balls stuck to an invisible frame of unknown origin.
And I drive.
The pure bliss of motion and transforming landscape, windows down once the heat begins to abate, and I breathe in the enriched air of beloved pine boughs glistening and inviting

Barely planned, a spur-of-the-moment trip, clothes inadequate for traipsing through a narrow trail with tall weeds and thin grasses and bold branches reaching out to connect and caress my hair.
The boys and I find a rocky outcropping, we sit, blessed moist air inhaled upon a cool breeze, softening lung tissue, easing stress.
Droplets of rain fall upon parched skin.
Listen to Her familiar voice singing through babbling brook and chittering folk hiding from view while a lizard scurries over a near rock before quick doggy eyes glimpse the crouched form.
Green, deep and vibrant, glorious.

The Museum of Northern Arizona grounds--inside and out--are serene, and I enjoy meandering through the exhibits so beautifully presented with loving attention to every detail. I will return when I have more time to leisurely absorb the history, beauty, art and skills shared of the native people of northern Arizona. Their Spirit flows through the lines of thread and paint upon woven blankets and bowls, upon pottery, canvas and mural.

The dogs are waiting in the car parked in a shady spot, comfortable with the more than 30-degree cooler temperature, yet the four-hour drive home beckons in the mid-afternoon overcast with thunder clouds and sporadic rain that falls in clumps like Gaia is dropping it from cupped hands, a little here, more there, and then a pause...wait...before dipping Her hands into the eternally full well of blessings once more.

Odd how much I enjoy long drives when often I can barely get myself down the road to the grocery store until the cupboards are nearly bare. The call of the open road feels deeply ingrained within my very cells and, like a Gypsy, I adore the journey even without a destination ... maybe more when the not knowing where I will stop is pulling me onward.
The unknown mystery of Her changing smile.
What will Gaia be wearing when I get there?


  1. I love spontaneous roadtrips! I know they must be especially exciting when you're in a totally new and different environment. Your pictures are lovely, Darla. It's wonderful that you can so easily go from desert heat to green coolness there. I look forward to seeing more of your new surroundings.

  2. Beautiful pictures! Years ago my grandparents took a magazine called Arizona Highways and I loved looking at the pictures of a place so different from my Florida home.

  3. Beth, if you lived nearby I would call you up and off we would go! :-)

    Vicki, thank you...that magazine is still alive and well with the most incredible photography.

  4. Oh, I'd love to take a roadtrip with you, Darla! I wish you lived nearby.

  5. Beautiful beautiful beautiful, and now you have ignited the desire for a road trip in me!! I took a trip out to the southwest in 2007, for the first time in my life. Albuquerque (if you can possibly make it, I recommend the International Balloon Fiesta in October - amazing!!!!!), Santa Fe, and Taos. It was an amazing adventure. These photos make me want to explore Arizona!

  6. Brenda, I'm eager to explore Arizona more fully as soon as we get settled, and thanks for the balloon suggestion--fun to do at some point!


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