Last spring, I moved back to the Earthship after a year away and my return to New Mexico felt like coming home. My footpaths still lay waiting, radiating across the desert and I found many of my landmarks – the collection of Anasazi pottery on a red rock, the coyote skull in a juniper tree – exactly where I remembered them.
Not long after my return, I met a friend in town for lunch. In the past year we had both been many places and done many things, but my friend spent all of lunch pecking away at her cell phone. Every time it beeped, she gave that thing her full attention, placating it like a fussy baby. It was maddening.
Our meals eaten and my friend’s Facebook status updated, her emails answered, her work schedule checked, her tweets tweaked and several apparently hilarious and totally engrossing text message conversations later, I finally pulled my own phone out of my bag and texted her “Are you ready to go?” In a cyber second “Almost” appeared on my screen. She didn’t even look up.
I am always glad to get back to the desert after a trip to town, but I was even more so on that day. I put my groceries away, grabbed my backpack and went for a walk, heading to one of my favorite places on Earth: a spot where the path tilts up to the sky in two unbroken, infinite lines. In this place, I am the only person on Earth:
Out here, my path is infinite and yet, the world is reduced to a more manageable size: the distance I can walk in a day. In this place, away from everything and everybody, nothing else matters but here and now. As I walk, the Earth spins and the light changes. If I watch long enough, the world turns and looks right back at me and some days, it rewards me with a few moments of perfect light.
On this day, I keep walking, heading West, down the old rutted two-track. The shape of the clouds foretells a spectacular sunset. The dogs cavort around me, unmoved by the changing light, delighted by the sheer love of being in motion. The Earth spins, the Sun drops and when it nears the western horizon, I feel the light brighten on my face as the undersides of scattered clouds begin to burn. This is one of those moments.
Years ago, I adopted a rule about seeing as many sunrises and sunsets as possible and to date, I’ve witnessed some doozies. This day, walking in my infinite place, the lightshow evolves into one of my top ten sunsets and damned if I don’t feel an overwhelming impulse to share it. I want to whip out my cell phone and text my friend: Go outside! Look up! This is one of those moments! We live under the same sky and I want her to see it.
For a long time, I worried about that impulse. I worried that living in this world of mine and wanting to share it with others were conflicting interests. How could I be a vagabond and a blogger? I’ve been writing the Blonde Coyote since last June and 150-plus posts later, I’ve stopped worrying about letting people in.
Go for more walks. See more sunsets. Stop, look, listen. Watch the Earth spin. Eventually, the world will turn and look right back at you and reward you with a few moments of perfect light. Look up! We all live under the same sky…
Thanks for reading everybody! Yesterday, the Blonde Coyote was Freshly Pressed for the third time. Makes me feel like I’m doing something right… :)