Woo-wee were they a sight to see! Vast, huge masses rising up from the earth. Or cut from the earth, I should say. Something other wordly, pre-historic and not of this time. Again, the ting of pink being ever so slightly present in the beautiful cream and rose stripe pattern circling the masses. Mostly families from all over coming to see these stones, aged over years, cut long before our time. People there to wonder at something beyond themselves. All of us just animals at the core. Perhaps it is the most human part of who we are as a species, the ego, which is soothed by nature. Nature brings us back to our primitive beings, not asking us to be more or less than who we are. There is no room for ego in nature because there is only survival. There is no room for judgement in nature because it just is how it is. No one looks at a tree and says “it would be better if it was a little taller, a little wider, etc.” No, people just accept it as it is and as such, that is how we should view ourselves.
Met another traveler, a guy from New Jersey about my age. His plan is to drive around the whole country, to "see it all" as he said. Somehow our paths crossed. Him, a wandering spirit, me, a lost and found soul. I sent him peace and enlightenment on his journey, knowing we are all rising and coming buddhas.*
*This was an idea I developed after reading Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. I started thinking of all humans as buddhas, each searching for their enlightenment. Rising and coming, coming and going...sometimes on the subway into work I would look at all of the people, each trying to find their happiness and think to myself "here are the fellow rising and coming Buddhas!"*
Made my way to a separate part of the park and hiked to the top where I could see the valley, looking all green and sparkly. I meditated for a bit and said a prayer for the fellow travelers passing through. Wished them love and peace. It was a gift from God because for those minutes I was there it was just me and the open sky. I felt so present and so right, like there was less me and more Earth in those moments.
Hiking out I got a little lost and panic quickly set in. There was some type of dead bird on the trail and it was a harsh reminder of the sparseness of the land. The dry desert, the snakes hidden. The ruggedness and the seriousness of it all. Found my way and felt relieved. Saw some elk, one hawk and hundreds of prairie dogs. It felt reassuring to see such cute creatures in that land, the human in me seeking comfort from the known.
Drove down the high with the sun setting, blasting country. I thought of you.
Made it to a hotel on the outskirts of town and fell into a deep sleep.
Woke up early yesterday to write and meditate. Isn't that how everyday should start? Packed up and wanted to get tea before leaving but the tea place was closed. It was really frustrating and I don't know why it annoyed me so much. I think having to eat unhealthy for lunch the day before was wearing on me. Knowing I want to make healthy choices for my body ("conscious eating") and not being able to. It's hard out here where the options are limited. Maybe those limited options lead to more simple lives, but if we're being honest, humans are complicated anywhere they go.
Beyond that, eventually the road gets to you. It brings things up that you didn't know were there, force things out. Especially being on the road for a while driving through Wyoming. Similar vast expanse like South Dakota, though not quite as rough.
Came around a corner and I was home. I was back in the West. The trees, the hills, the giant mountain ranges looming in the distance. Man, it felt good to be back.
I cried and thanked God. Cried about you too, knowing it was really over. How bittersweet - I was home yet you were thousands of miles away.