"Once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.” (Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
Every November Zion National Park hosts a "Paint-out," an "invitation only" affair where some of the best western landscape artists convene for a week of plein air (outdoor) painting… lovely oils, watercolors, acrylics, and pastels. These masters make it look so easy, but it's mostly rocket science and mystery to this amateur.
Zion inspires creativity. It makes me want to paint, draw, write, and photograph. Zion also inspires movement. It makes me want to hike, bike, walk, wade, and explore… preferably with friends who appreciate wandering around in such landscapes. Only the heartiest can weather Zion beyond mid November. Our gang is down to four, now, layers of Rv friends peeling off one by one in search of warmer climates. Bobbie and I will likely be the only one's left soon enough. We will stick it out till December, store Goldie down the road in Washington, then hit the road home to Lovely Ouray, now all blanketed in holiday snow. Decorations will come out of storage, Bobbie will arrange the Manger Scene while I put up a few lights. A fire will flicker in the hearth, as well as our hearts. It is a good story, one worth repeating every year.
Normally I'm not cut out to do "repeats." I crave change and new horizons. But every year we seem to end up spending October and November in Utah's red rocks, and every year, to our surprise, we are not disappointed. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.