Reverence and the Gypsy Life

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Badlands…The Wall

I’d been warned it would be blisteringly hot.  But the morning I drove the back roads from Rapid City to Badlands National Park, the sky grew a bruised purple and grey, while the wind battered my rental car back and forth across the broken yellow lines of the divided highway.  At times the sky opened and poured…other times the sun backlit the dark clouds in a golden frame.  The entire day I blasted the car heater, and when I stepped outside, I bundled in every piece of Winter wear I’d brought on my trip.  No amount of polar fleece warmed me.

I stood before the Wall, staring at crumbling rattlesnake colored canyons….deep crevices that floated ancient voices, ancient cries and moans, on the wind. The experience was more than eerie…I felt as though the land was alive, the land was in pain, the land was speaking only to me…of a lost time, a lost world.  I was grateful I was alone. Grateful I could sob and carry on without judgement, without the need to explain.

All my life I’ve held reverence for geographical space. All my life, topography has shown me who I am.  From the white capped waves of Oneida Lake where, at 5, I fished with my father…he searching for perch and pike, me on a desperate hunt for a drowned brother….to the cobalt blue skies of New Mexico that stretched forever, that offered all possibility….to the mauve and orange canyons and archways of Utah and Arizona, and the wild forests of Glacier and Waterton Parks, the landscapes of my life have brought me to my knees….in gratitude, in spiritual connection, in an instinctive understanding of meaning and purpose.

While I hold deep reverence for the amazing friends and family in my life, and for the strangers I’ve met along the way; for the influences of ancestors and artists, musicians and writers who’ve come before me, who’ve led the way, who’ve shown me How, I try to always consciously recognize the world I stand in..from New York, to Paris; from Los Angeles to Jackson Hole.

On my journeys, I’ve found that every day I have to trust I’ll find my way; I’ll hear the whispers on the wind, a voice through the lyric on the radio.  We are, each of us, right now where we need to be.  Trust that you will go where you need to go.  Trust that you will be supported and protected by the ground you walk on.

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