The plain and prairie stretches out to a horizon that keeps stepping back as we approach it. Everything is green after the heavy rains, contrasting with the water management commercials on tv talking about the lessons of the Dustbowl. We’re sailing the bus across an ocean of farm and ranch land, down a concrete river with tributaries that lead to portages in pubs, hotels, climbing gyms, outdoors shops, and sometimes rocks, though those isles are few and far between out here on the tradewinds.
In a few hours we’ll go ashore in Amarillo to the Rock House for a quick session, shoe demo, and slideshow. The next morning we’ll leave for Albuquerque and the West. I’m looking forward to getting back to cooler climes; I left Colorado for Austin just as the winter was turning to spring, arriving in Texas and Arkansas to an early summer that followed days of rain. It’ll be nice to get back to my home areas, to my projects, to my house and my lady... Road time is beginning to wear on the both of us a little, with some homesickness and so on. One gets to thinking about quiet and space and familiarity. It’s great to meet new people and see new places, but I think everybody needs a little recharge time in their lives, with the comfortable rituals of home undisturbed by the demands of travel (like making breakfast!), the company of your best friend/significant other, your workspace, your own bed. Of course, we can adjust these things to fit our place and time, but the effect isn’t really the same.. When we’re at home, everything we do is a layer of armour, a brace to hold us up through the days. We live life from a base, from a safe spot that everything sort of returns to for a recharge. On the road, we have to find a place and time to recharge, and take advantage when the opportunity comes. Of course, on a trip like this with so many destinations to hit along the way, you never really get all that settled. It’s hard to get into the pace of a place without a good deal of flexibility, and in that, I feel kind of lucky- I think the pace is probably good for me, keeping me out of my shell/armour, keeping me from holing up in the cotton batting of an environment that I can more or less control. It’s good to just go along with whatever is happening here and there, kind of like being a kid again: you just do what is happening. You live, floating down the stream, bobbing around with this and that ripple and boulder, eddy and shore, and you sail on.