Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Road trip (#SmallWonder)

We cover close to two thousand miles of open road, from western Washington through Oregon to southern California and all the zig zagging in between as we, each day, turn the car in the direction of home. The inherent quality of road trips is that, in a tangible way, they foot us along to experience the journey as hundreds of daily arrivals at destinations, or moments in time, set on a moving continuum. And though I find myself wishing for more time to stretch and cover the edges of these nine days, I’m learning, too, to bend with time. To sit within these pockets time offers as gifts and allow myself to settle in contentment for what is.

For we never stand still, not for long, and this is both madness to the eyes and mystery to the heart, in that we are asked to hold a moment ever so briefly, embrace it - and then release before we are ready. Whether it was Only Five Minutes or Two Whole Days, The Blink of an Eye or Hours Dragging By, it is what it will be and truth be told, these moments will rarely feel Long Enough.

* * * * * 

Hours pass in the car with few words exchanged between us. We are engaging in the conversation of silence. Of growing companionship. The spacious freedom simply to be.

We point out birds to each other - Hawk! Bald Eagle! Egret! Snow geese! Falcon! Red wing blackbird! - in the sky, the naked trees, the fallow fields, on fence posts and in marshy pools. We draw our breaths in sharp at the colors of blushing sky at sunset, the fog hovering in valleys, the rocks texturing steep hillsides. We sing along with our cd collection, and he laughs at my spirited impersonation of Michael BublĂ© and I snicker as he translates Spanish lyrics from old Banda songs. 

We stop to take pictures, hundreds of pictures, of every thing and place of beauty we feast our eyes upon. We fall asleep one night in the back of the car with a sunroof of stars above us. We bundle up in the crisp morning to feel the ocean air kiss our faces and hear the waves pounding sand. We stop for tacos and coffees and Red Bulls, town after town. We run like children down ocean cliff trails, chasing after a white heron in the sky, these birds I long for, always just out of reach. 

We collect shells and stones and laugh at the ways the seals scoot and hop on their bellies across their rocky thrones. We spend an hour in San Fransisco eating bread bowls by the wharf. We stand inside a hollowed out Redwood the size of our kitchen, in a forest of giants, in hushed and holy silence. We lose our way among the parking lots of Yosemite, lose our patience, and find grace once more as we hike steep trails, feel our legs and lungs burning with life. We fall asleep early at night, exhausted and full from the day that didn't feel, in the end, it passed too quickly.

And I sense this spaciousness between us, like the generosity of slowly wrinkling skin. What we wish for in time, we find is right here, in us. 

Linking up with the community of Small Wonder at Kelly's place



  1. This is beautiful, Amber. You know, I've never been on a road trip. It sounds like it was a real gift to you. I especially like, "engaging in the conversation of silence" and how the "spaciousness" between you is a gift. I hope that spaciousness and silence carries you for days and weeks.

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. I hope so, too, for both the spaciousness and the silence were and are gifts, as you said.

  2. It truly is grace, is it not, when silence and miles have nothing to do with distance. There is something very, very magnetic (attractive) about sharing experiences with another that seem to exist only for you alone in that moment. Alas, perhaps they do. And yet I am grateful, too, to have shared any part of the journey through your eyes. The photos take my breath away!

    1. I'm grateful to share part of this journey with you, too, Beth. And I love this thought, "when silence and miles have nothing to do with distance."