For many, breaking tradition seems an impossible chore. Fears of judgment, missed interactions and resentment often surface at the thought. Good or bad, tradition is the direct connection to our past.
Meet two strong-minded individuals, both in a state of metamorphosis. Our stories of adventure and success will be a reminder to all:
The past is where we once lived; the future is full of excitement, newness and anticipation; the present is the GREATEST MOMENT OF OUR LIVES.
We, together, are working on releasing our attachments to the past, including the negative emotions and behaviors associated, simply by living life in the present. Our incredible journey begins NOW: Thanksgiving 2017.
Day 1: It isn’t the destination, but rather the journey.
The decision to depart the realm of tradition required zero negotiations. In fact, there was only one struggle….WHERE do we GO? Undecided, we committed to renting a compact SUV and made some basic decisions as far as what we were taking. Tent, sleeping bags, folding chairs and clothing. Next stop, New Mexico.
The journey from Victoria, TX to a non-disclosed location in New Mexico wasn’t as long or arduous as the masses proclaim. In fact, it was here where both me (the Viking) and the Apache found a significant universal validation. We initially trekked from our starting point to Austin, TX and made a final decision to “turn left”…..right would have been onto our other option, Arkansas. New Mexico, here we come. Next stop…Roswell.
San Angelo, Lamesa, Brownfield and Roswell all served as smaller centers for our initial destination. However, it was the day prior to Thanksgiving and the potential for road clutter and congestion was high. The energy of society was buzzing. Our first real stop of the day was in Lampasas, where we opted for a local country-style café for lunch:
The food was amazing! Home cooking at its finest. From the “old white lady” enchiladas (the BEST) right down to the coconut cream pie and its flaky crust. For five decades, I have pretty much fine-tuned my dislike for any dressing that accompanies a thanksgiving turkey….until NOW. The ONLY dressing I have ever eaten without wanting to expel it. Everything we consumed was created by love and recipes of the past, all for under $30!
As we paid to exit, the sugar-free Apache performed the most rare of feats…he ordered a fruit filled pastry for the road. Fat, dumb and happy, we are on our way.
From the passenger vantage point, the terrain became quite desolate. There were a few moments of initial emotional connectivity with my childhood as we drove through small towns where children were picking up pecans along the roadside or communities that resembled the brick and mortar structures I remembered growing up. In fact, there was one place in particular where I became so emotionally overridden by tears of beautiful memories of my childhood that I simply sat in silence and allowed it all to absorb into my present.
The scenery began stretching on to eternity with its lack of greenery and full of dusty fields and flatlands that seemed almost uninhabitable to me. As far as the eye could see, there were alien-like windmills lined up like soldiers ready to march. Occasionally, a few would be electronically spinning, harvesting energy to feed into the grid.
Through this flattened transition, tumbleweeds became a reality. Tightly clustered into groups and pressed against structures and fence lines, as if truckloads of these barren orbs had been dumped along the way. Here and there, tumbleweeds larger than basketballs, more like giant beach balls and perfect in circular conformity sat nested in the roadway median, awaiting the next gust of wind. Standing tall above these desolate and arid structures on canvas stood alien-like windmills to be seen as far as the sight could travel, dominating the once flattened fields of white cotton and dirt.
The power of the descending sun began to shine upon us, bathing us in something very different. Something beautiful was about to arrive.
As the sun truly set on our day, it was in this moment that both of us realized the magnitude of its power and energy. All paintings and poetry began to culminate in our mental registry as “The Longest Sunset” gave rise to the unanswerable question:
How can we all live under the same sky, and yet experiencing the normal suddenly becomes NEW; unique; beautiful?
Was it simply perspective or a deeper calling to understand nature?
The oceanic turquoise, pastel blues and deep azul progressions served as the endless canvas against the backdrop of the native earthy landscape. Seemingly accidental paint strokes kissed the canvas without intention, landing colors of electric pink, bright white and neon salmon along the canvas with a harsh and powerful contrast. To the human eye, this made no logical sense and yet appeared so normal for the native earth.
Intense! Contrast! Surreal! Polarity!
As the globe of fire began to retreat behind the eternally distant horizon, the sky did not darken, but rather lit up brightly. It became a canvas of color blending so expertly accomplished that one might believe themselves in a state of lucid dreaming. It invited nothing but AWE and meditative thoughts.
As it continued its descent, it slowly pulled with it the colorful curtain of tangerines, salmons, lemons and burgundy strips down, like a comforter slowly being pulled from the bed. The colors manifested as it made its way deep into the ocean, creating a powerful and fiery energy engulfing the day in a sea of deep electric blue.
White waves began to break across the eternal depths of night, with ripples of gray floating along the perimeter of the cordoned horizon.
Contrast….the word that kept surfacing.
The contrasts of deep turquoise, bright white, electric pink, salmon, tangerine, rust, pale blue, vibrant orange and fire red generated a vision of constant movement and hypnotizing stillness and attention, dominating all other structures and formations. Trees, windmills, buildings and hills became two-dimensional blackened silhouettes against the three-dimensional backdrop of vibrancy.
Maybe an hour; maybe two. This awe-inspiring opportunity served as the catalyst for adventure, beauty, contrast and the pieces of something much greater within us.
It was here for both the Apache and the Viking that our day ended and our journey began.