3,602 miles of driving, I arrive at Custer State Park in South Dakota, our home for the summer. I began this journey May 4, leaving Green Valley as the temperature neared 100 F degrees. Brownie was ready for adventure and I too was excited for this solo road trip. Jay left home with the 5th wheel, the RZR on a 10’ trailer behind, and both cats on April 19th.
It was a fun journey, emotional at times and long stretches of road with some incredibly beautiful scenery through Montana and Wyoming. After arriving at the Park and spending a couple of days with Jay resting, we went for a drive through the park, stopping to pick up the new copy of Tatanka, the park guide book. The message from the park superintendent included a quote from Traveling Light, a book by Max Lucado:
“Somewhere between the first step on the floor and the last step out the door, you grabbed some luggage. You stepped over to the baggage carousel and looked up. Don’t remember doing so? That’s because you did it without thinking. Don’t remember seeing a baggage carousel? That’s because the carousel is not the one in the airport, it’s the one in the mind. And the bags we grabbed are not made of leather; they're made of burdens.
The suitcase of guilt. A sack of discontent. You drape a duffel bag of weariness on one shoulder and hanging bag of grief on the other. Throw on a backpack of anxiety. An overnight bag of loneliness and a duffle bag of fear. Add on a briefcase of perfectionism. Pretty soon we’re carrying more than a freight train. No wonder we are so tired at the end of the day. Lugging luggage is exhausting.”
The superintendent's message was to take a deep breath and set down all the baggage, at the “lost and never to be found” box. I can’t think of a better place to do that. I know, last year I talked about some of the negatives here, but mostly that was working in customer service and less than optimal working conditions and living next to a large dumpster for 2 months. The rest of it is amazing. Who gets to sit and write with 5 or 6 bull bison outside their window, rolling around and rubbing against picnic tables and power boxes, trying to lose their winter coats? Or take just a few steps out my door into a wonderland of trees, birds and a babbling brook?
It was so nice to be greeted with that message at a time when I really needed it. I love how the universe works to give us what we need at the right moment if we give ourselves the chance to be present so we can see it. It’s more of that slowing down I talked about before.
The past few days I have had time to reconnect with my meditation and yoga practice. Both of which were needed, I really feel it in my body. Doing a shoulder opening sequence one day, a hip opener sequence the next, gets into all the spots that were crunched up over all those miles of driving. I’m going to get out and look for a work opportunity, either volunteer or for pay somewhere. And I’m going to get out and hike.
The superintendent's message was to take a deep breath and set down all the baggage, at the “lost and never to be found” box. I can’t think of