Vacation?

The boys and I are headed to Florida in a couple of days – for a couple of days.

It started with “I need to get back to Florida.”

Then, “I really need to get the boys to Florida.”

Then, trying to find dates that work for all three work schedules, which included contacting one boss and working out a schedule with him while the child was on the river.

Then, the next one, trying to figure out schedule and getting permission from the parole officer to leave the state.

Because that’s our new normal.

Then, trying to schedule a trip over a weekend so that someone doesn’t have to cover me for a full work week. But that didn’t happen.

Flights?

$2300 to go to Florida for 5 days.

Plus a rental car.

Then I had to find a house sitter – someone with whom Elvis will bond not bite.

All of that taken care of and suddenly I realize…

I’m going on vacation with my children.

Holy shit, it’s been years.

It’s also been eons since I’ve gone to see my folks when no one is in the hospital.

Vacation.

VACATION.

Granted, August in Florida might sound a little torturous, but it’s the beach and the ocean and snorkeling and my mommy and daddy and my amazing boys, and their birthdays, and dune grass and palm trees and sea glass and chocolate milkshakes.

And no smoke.

After all of that squeezing in and finagling and coordinating I get to sit still, do something fun, relax, read a book, and hang out with my favorite people in the whole world.

Yay Florida in August.

 

There’s that moment when the clouds part after a storm and what you see is that the mountains which, yesterday, were bone-dry-brown, have turned blue-white; thick with fresh snow.

Today, when that happened, I felt every part of my body unclench just a tad. I had no idea how tense I was until I wasn’t as much.

It’s been a stress reaction to the seriousness of the drought.

We had an orange fire moon in April.

But this tension isn’t on a mental or emotional plane; it’s visceral. My body feels parched along with the landscape.

Just a little bit of moisture has brought relief – at least for today. There is snow on the mountains. The river literally doubled it’s flow today. The pastures turned green while I was at work.

You can feel a collective sigh amongst the community. I doubt there’s anyone in this town who hasn’t said a prayer of thanks today.

I feel so connected to this place. I think most of us do. It gets in your cells.

It feels as if the lines between me and the dirt and the rocks and the grasses are quite blurred.

There’s a sense of solidity to this landscape that keeps one grounded.

It’s breathtakingly beautiful.

A woman asked me today, “Does it ever get old?”

No. No.

It’s so overwhelmingly stunning in every direction, and it’s so big, so, so big, and every moment of every day the light changes, drifts in and out, casts shadows across the mountains and the canyons, and, there is wind in the ponderosas, owls hoot-hooting in the night, and meadowlarks singing up the sun.

Our storms are events; people drive up to the mountains to them. Wildfires are yearly happenings. The sun will melt chocolate buried in your pack, in February.

It’s ever-changing and never-boring here.

When you love a place so much that it becomes a part of you, and you it; when your soul connects with the soul of the landscape; when it’s relief is your relief; that’s true love.

And true love never grows old.