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the ways i find my way

Written on: Sunday October 12th, 2008

I gotta say, I feel a little bad ass. But only because I have been scared. Still am a little scared. I am practicing faith. Practicing trusting that I will be called to go where I need to go. Tonight, I am in an empty camp ground near the conchas dam in new mexico. It is awesomely windy, as it was in Oklahoma and texas too. But it is clear. And the moon is nearly full. I am in a little 3-walled shelter- my motorbike just beyond the 3rd wall. My computer screen is quivering in when a big gust somes through. I am drinking a corona, in a big bottle. Still got my leathers on. It is not cold, but the wind makes it chilly enough that I am glad  to have thick skin on. Thick skin. Soft heart. No, I am not naturally, effortlessly at ease in this unfamiliar landscape , winds blazing all around me, by myself in the near darkness. Everytime my fear starts to creep up I try to notice it, name it, before it defines how I experience the moment. Oh what a practice. With almost every breath I have to think about calmness. I have to remember that I trust that I am just where I need to be. I rode off into uncertainty this morning. I settle into uncertainty this evening.  My day was amazing. Challenging,. Difficult. Scary even. All day uncertain. And then blissful. I never know when the next powerful gust of wind will hit. All day today my mantra has been- this is just wind passing through. Remembering the wind that is passing through me. That is my breath. Remember that everything is always uncertain. These are just moments when I am extraordinarily aware of not knowing.

Today I began in Norman, Oklahoma. I was hosted by such a wonderful family. Tara, Chris, and Braxton. When I arrived there last night around 6, I was immediately invited to indulge in a steamy hot bath with baking oda and Epsom salt. My own private spa!!! Tara's special recepie for "when you need something a little extra. " Then I was treated to an outstanding dinner made by Chris, who works for the DOT. I tell ya, the US of A has sure got a fine hwy system! Signs that tell you all sorts of things you want to know. Never appreciated it until now. Whoowee what a fine DOT. And Braxton, who is 11, was so generous to offer me his bedroom for my stay. And then there was breakfast!!! The fist words I heard from my hosts this morning was "would you prefer carrot juice or orange juice?" fresh carrot juice! And homemade sausage biscuits and banana bread and oats, the good thick kind, and French pressed coffee and eggs! Oh my, I have never ever enjoyed such decadent hospitality. And they were all such awesome folks too. So kind and of such generous spirit.

And then there was the wind and the rain.

I really beat feet for the fist part of the day. I was in texas before I knew it.  200 miles like it was nothing. Rode for 50 miles or so with some folks on harley and Honda cruisers. Then  little drops. So it was time for the rain gear. And for a long while it was not so bad. Then in Amarillo, I learned I was heading into flash flood warnings. Mmmm. I consulted maps. I consulted the weather channel. I consulted NOAA radar. I consulted ladies at the TX tourist visitors center. I consulted tomorrow's weather. I consulted my dad. And, after thoroughly considering my options and eating part of a chicken sandwich Tara had packed for me, I decided to press on.

And for a moment. Just after I got back on the interstate. I thought. Oh shit. Hell no. Can't manage this. Puddles! Splash! Traffic! And poor visibility to boot. And then it got better. And then- My own personal Highway!!!
I decided to get off the interstate cause the other cars were causing me worry. I learned from the wonderfully helpful ladies at theTX tourist center that Rt. 66 goes parallel to 40. Turns out it is also called 40 and is exactly parallel. With just a little grassy spot between. And no one is on this part. 2 lanes. In 50 miles passed 2 people. And when the puddles were small, I ran even with the interstate traffic- except they were far away from me! I was speeding and slowing at my leisure on my own private Hwy.

And oh, the moment when I emerged from beneath the grey carpet of clouds and  into SUNSHINE!!! And then I crossed into New Mexico. And I was freakin elated. And feeling at least a little proud of myself.  

And after a ride through some stunning country, here I am, with my laptop, complete with internests, at this picnic table, in this little shelter, a nearly empty big bottle of beer, wind, night, moonlight, drowsiness coming on, increasingly infrequent moments of fear infestation. Grateful. Wondered. Awe. Curiosity. Gratitude. Tonight I am the guest of this land. All the things that have happened on this land over time. All passed over this space. Like the wind is passing through now. Like I am passing through too. Grateful. Prayerful. Thank you.   

The wind went quiet just now for the first time since I arrived. Can hear the keys click-clacking and my leathers squeaking as I move.



From Aunt Ann on Oct 12th, 2008

Take a deep breath Becky. We're so proud of you and love you ooooodles. Tuck yourself in for the night and get some rest. No need for fear. We're all with you at this very moment and sending prayers north to the good Lord above to keep you safe. So rest well. luv ya - Aunt Ann & Uncle Sonny.