Rock Faces, Silent Voices

Firewood, food and gas

Make it last

Make it last

Firewood, food and gas-

Don’t forget a flask.

As rooks on a chessboard, we move up, down and all across the West. It’s October now and we point our tires south to follow the warmth of the sun. With map in hand and time on our side, we roll on, Southwest.

A couple of homeless gypsies, we reassume our positions in our stagecoach camper. Like a fur muff, Scrappers curls up on my lap. I stroke his soft belly and throat – soothing both him, and me, as we travel into territories unknown.

Once again, as we travel the scenic byways and secondary highways, it feels like we have America to ourselves – the hours go by without seeing another car on the road.

The landscape transforms from sage and Jeffrey pines, to sage and Joshua trees, to sage and Mesquite as we lower in latitude. Arriving in Southern Utah at sunset, the ruby glow in the sky matches the rich rose tones of the sandstone, limestone and shale.

Like the game of Candy land, with its red rock candy mountains, peppermint forests, lollipop woods and gumdrops hills, the high desert Colorado Plateau is a rippled countryside of arches, hoodoos, buttes, bridges, balanced rocks, spires, mesas and monoliths.

As far as you can see are pink, white, gray, vermillion and chocolate colored cliffs. My imagination stirs and I see faces, totems, skulls and statues in these ancient rocks, like guards to ancient pathways. What stories they would tell if they could talk?

We travel to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park and Arches National Park. The days are filled with sunshine and discovery. The nights are filled with dark skies and the yaps and howls of coyotes.

In this vast land, the wildlife revels itself rarely. But one morning, while mountain biking in Moab, I came face to face with a giant Jackrabbit. He stopped mid jump and took a curious pose on his hind legs. I stopped and we locked eyes both surprised to see each other. He jumped along and I rode on, and I thought this chance encounter could be a sign.

According to the native Pueblos, there is a reason an animal comes to us. They believe these spirit brothers and sisters can help us and teach us to be aware of our strengths, and our weaknesses.

“Rabbit is afraid of almost everything and so its gift is to teach us about fear. If rabbit has come to you, it is time to examine those deep reflexive fears that hold you back from growing. Face your fears and overcome them to promote your spiritual growth.”

I reflect on my fears as I read these words. I fear that I will never find a new home. I fear that I don’t know what my future holds. I fear why I have this pain is in my chest. I hear my silent voice. I acknowledge my fears, but I will not dwell on them and let fear overtake the joy I feel having choose this adventure.

Instead, I choose to keep myself open to all possibilities. For now, there is nothing to do but enjoy these moments.

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