And so I left Indian Wells – Rich in new relationships, and as is often the case, it isn’t easy to leave those new friends. But The Trail was calling my name, and this next stretch was intense. I was headed towards Greasewood Springs. The walk from Indian Wells through Greasewood Springs and on to Burnside was intense.
The landscape was nothing less than stunning. Mesa’s, hills and multicolored rock shimmered in the light of the day. This stretch kept me enthralled with its beauty, but it also started to take me deep within myself. I was tired, yet exhilarated and the walk allowed me to process a lot of different experiences.
My thoughts drifted to my childhood in Denmark and my life in California. I felt myself inexorably move way from many of the things or values I was raised with, letting go of them for a deep sense of longing of a close community as I had seen in Flagstaff and on The Reservation. Where before my poverty has been a source of terror and humiliation, I experienced an acceptance of poverty and a desire for a simpler life style, with a lot less materially and a lot more community. My dreams and thoughts drifted to how I could best serve a community, what I had to offer, and how I would like to live my life in service. I experienced a sense of letting go, of wanting so much less materially, of loss, sadness, and yet feeling closer to myself and the earth that moved so slowly underneath me. As my thoughts and feelings were incredibly intense, I was also able to watch them from a distance and realize I was undergoing yet another deep transformation.
I was struck by grief that my mom is so ill, and there is of course, nothing I can do. But in the knowing her illness, I began to embrace the rite of passage the inevitable illness of a parent is.
I felt like I was moving in a dream – continually being struck by the stunning beauty of the landscape, and so aware were I was, and yet deeply within myself as if my movements were surreal, absorbed in the deep, red rock. And Red moved through me as a power of its own. Red – my favorite color to wear, the color of my skin. The rock – like Blood of The Mother. The deep, Red Rock – I breathed deeply, moved slowly, in a rhythm I couldn’t quite control. I felt her heart beat, her gentle embrace and the harsh pain of too little water. Red!
Indeed – as I have seen again and again on The Reservation – Water Is Life.
Above pictures are all from a sunrise. I rolled over in my sleeping bag, and took those pictures while still in my bag.
My solar panel had broken, and I was waiting for a new one in the mail, but this meant I only had my laptop to charge my phone. Friday evening it was clear I wouldn’t make the Greasewood Springs chapter house before they closed for the weekend, and about 5 miles out I settled in for the night. Due to not having my solar panel it was more important than ever to charge all my gadgets whenever I could so I knew I had to wait for the Greasewood Springs chapter house to open Monday. When I woke up Saturday I was also simply drop dead exhausted, and decided a “day off” was a good idea. I opened my tent to look out at the landscape, and just as I did, a horse head peaked over a hill. I smiled, and knickered a greeting. Then I rolled over in my tent and fell back in a deep, restful sleep.
Sunday I easily made Greasewood Springs and settled in for the night, and Monday I went to the chapter house. I initially started to contact the chapter houses ahead of me as a respectful gesture letting the powers that be know I was in the area. However, the chapter houses quickly became my oasis’ of help, learning and support on my journey – and so it was also in Greasewood Springs. They hosted me for the day while I charged all three of my laptop batteries, I was offered an shower and they let me sleep there overnight.
Tuesday morning I headed out towards Cornfields Chapter house. The dreamy walk described above continued and even intensified through this next part of the walk.
I also saw many horse herds and it was so amazing to see herds in the wild, clearly acting like horses do – without the domesticated changes. Their movements were Free, Flowing – Gorgeous. I longed to sit down and just watch them.
And Cornfields Chapter House proved to be yet another incredible hospitable destination – a shower and a night inside was offered – Thank You.
This dreamy stretch of walk ended when one day later I hit Burnside community and the much larger highway 264. Strangely, as I reached this much larger through fare, I seemed to leave the dream world I had entered ever since Indian Wells.