Thursday, November 15, 2012
Tripod Rocks... Off The Beaten Path
The longer I live the more I know, and this I have come to know as truth for me. Life's meaningful pleasures and treasures are not sprinkled along routine Interstates near home. They are found off the beaten path, in deserts rich with emptiness, mountains blessed with solitude, and along Blue Highways less traveled. "Chuck routine. Live the real jeopardy of circumstance... go!" Blue Highways, William Least Heat-Moon.
Outside family, I can't name but a handful of redemptive things worth my time and attention at the end of a metro off-ramp. But sometimes, for efficiencies' sake, one's gotta do what they gotta do. and motor through such blights upon the Sonoran Desert as Phoenix, or, even worse, El Paso, where tractor trailer trucks and RV's squeeze into six Prius sized lanes that endlessly curve like the Rio Grande, now a veritable sewage pipe downstream of Mexican cities along it's banks. Never seen whiter knuckles than while towing "Fiver" through El Paso. I digress...
But I'm in Zion, right? The Virgin River is just that. The sun sheds warmth upon my face. Birds chirp for my ears only. Autumn leaves swirl, landing in my tousled, greying hair. Red cliffs and maples fill days; black velvet darkness and stars fill nights. Having lived on the opposite side of this coin I am mindful of my good fortune and marvel at the long road that put me here.
Second thoughts suggest there is one redeeming quality to Interstates, for they can jumpstart putting a "former life" in the rearview mirror... for good. Interstate 70 was my escape hatch from Springfield, once a quaint little Ozark's town in Missouri's Bible Belt. But it grew up (blew up) way to fast. Like the proverbial preachers daughter, Springfield strayed from Mom and Pop and lost its soul to strip malls... whoring out to Chucky Cheese, K mart and any old chain store with a buck in their hand.
How does one leave that madness behind? How did I get to where I belonged... before I even knew for sure what or where it was? The hard way, for I found it in missed turns, detours, and through aimless wanderings off beaten paths. Anyone can do it; "there must be fifty ways to leave your lover." But be forewarned, it's a career choice. I suggest you dot your i's and cross your t's before packing up; you can't "eat the scenery." But if and when life begins to leave an empty blah feeling in your heart and soul, I know of a few restorative places.
Aimless wanderings often stumble Bobbie and I upon the most remarkable finds... things not noted on maps or in brochures. They are generally off beaten paths. To be perfectly honest, we are frequently lost when when we find them.
Take Tripod Rocks, for instance, (my name) a place we decided we could trust Susan and Maikel to keep secret. Every time I go back I expect to find Tripod Rocks vandalized by some uncaring ass. All it would take is a gentle nudge to topple their remarkable intrigue. I prefer it to be gravity's deed.