Thursday, July 28, 2005

A Dormant Traveler Daydreams ...

Today is my 8th wedding anniversary. It’s been a wild ride!

I happened to stumble across some photos from a few trips we’ve taken in the days before we were parents and for all intents and purposes could come and go as we pleased in life. It got me thinking about the world in general, and about how there are so many beautiful places, so different from my everyday scenery. And how not just are they there when we discovered them, but have been there forever and are still there this moment and will be there forever to come. Don’t ask me why this epiphany thrills me so, but it does. I guess I just get twitterpated by what a beautiful planet we live on from time to time, and my heart longs to return and to see even more undiscovered sceneries.

When we were in the Valley of Fire in Nevada, we took a few rocks and brought them home with us. It’s against the law to take anything out of state and national parks like that, so don’t tell anyone. But these rocks adorn the corner of our hearth and reside on various bookshelves in our family room. Though I love my Midwestern surroundings and there’s no place like home, these rocks virtually glow with hues that you can hunt for in my area for the rest of your life and will never find. Bright oranges, luna-moth greens and romantic shades of purple and puce. They’re simply luscious to the eye, and as photos never do the real thing justice, I’m glad we have them.

We have been to St. Thomas twice. You know the tv shows on the Travel channel and the rich colorbursting spreads in the glossy pages of magazines that you look at and swear have to be tweaked? They aren’t. The blues and greens of the Carribean Sea are every bit as rich and quenching as that, if not moreso. The entire place is an orgy of vivid color and texture. I found myself standing on the balcony of St. Peter’s Greathouse, overlooking Magen’s Bay, just trying to soak the images into my brain like a thirsty sponge, so that I could keep them with me forever.

We took a catamaran trip around St. Maarten. The sea was rough and the swells deep. Other passengers huddled on board but Hub and I scampered out onto the nets, clinging to the ropes and taking facefulls of Mother Nature with every dive into the swells. I was keenly aware that one false move and I could teakettle right into the sea. That might kill me. But it was worth the chance. I knew what it meant to be alive that moment.

A few summers ago we stood on the Continental Divide. The sun was setting and there were clouds curling about a few thousand feet below us in the valleys. The air was thin and crisp and it was remarkably chilly for July, by a midwesterner’s standards. The elk were grazing in all directions. I ached to remain.

One summer afternoon a few years ago as we returned to our cabin after spending the day on Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana, a short but needling rainshower galloped through the valley. As it moved on through, the sun came back out and a rainbow burst out. Rainbows are somehow different in Big Sky Country. You could swear they're no more than a foot from your face, and are even surprised when your fingers only rake sparkling air when you reach out to touch it.

While I am home now, in familiar surroundings and monotonous routines, these and other places remain and are the way they are at any given moment. That lifts my heart somehow. Just knowing that if I ever return they’ll be there waiting for me makes me happy.

I’m glad I got to share it all with the Hub. Sometimes we make each other crazy but he’s the best traveling companion I could ever have.

6 comments:

allison said...

embarassing is going to the beach in Martinique with your dad. God that was awful!

a spoon said...

congrats on the anniversary!

Jen said...

A very happy anniversary to you both! May you have many, many more.

Pets to Clay and hugs to Evan for me.

Jen

ykwia said...

Thank you for painting a most beautiful picture in my mind of the places that you have been that I probably will never see.....through your description I can see it as if I had been there with you. I never realized what a talented writer you are!

Slap-Happy said...

Happy Anniversary!

If you get a chance, and are ever on the Hood River in Oregon, try the Columbia Gorge Hotel.

The breakfast is $50.

And WORTH IT.

Memphis Steve said...

Good God, another freaking coincidence! This July was MY 8th wedding anniversary! You are just tripping me out!