I traveled down to Tucson. Stopped in Quartzite slept in the back of the Volvo. Renting a room from midnight to early morning isn’t any fun. Sleeping in the back of a station wagon suits me fine.
As success and money have found their way into my life so has travel by air, hotels and rental cars. Air travel passes over the ordinary people and places I find matter. I don’t want to just come and go on a trip. I want to be with what I find in between.
An isolated high desert town with fifty miles of uninhabited highway between what comes next riles up the pangs unavailable to a citizen living in a megalopolis.
Driving down a main street with every parking place empty is an opportunity. Crawling along heading the other way on this street is an old man and a big dog in a pickup truck.
I get out and walk a few blocks. The pace of life is apparent. Living within a mile of a twelve lane freeway choked all day with traffic wears a nervous system thin.
Setting aside time to feel lonesome will revive the sagging spirits. There is a medicinal quality to an aimless walkabout in the middle of a town that’s been grinding along at a slow crawl. You can hear your own footsteps. A thought in your mind gets the attention it deserves.
By the time you have circled back to where you started you’ve got a fresh list of changes you want to make. There are recipes you’ll want to try, friends you put on your list to call and a promise to take better care of your spouse.
Keeping a ready mind open for an ordinary day is no mean feat. If you can hear the chirp of a sparrow clear as a bell you’re on the path. You might use the position of the sun to locate your own sense of place. Clouds sweeping past above will be noticeable in such circumstances.
A walk through Patagonia won’t be anything fancy. Won’t be any high priced homes, won’t see any new cars, but there will be a chance to hear from a crowded out piece of who you are.