(Photo taken at Bryce Canyon--I think)
The chickadee has landed. Our southwestern odyssey is history. Not for the first time, I was awed by the enormity of this country. Also by the complete freedom we have to move from place to place, across borders and boundaries, states and counties, watershed districts, state and national parks, the whole enchilada.
We took in New Mexico, Arizona, the Grand Canyon (south and north rims). Moved on into Utah where we tent camped (yes, really) in Zion National Park. Nearly froze my toochis in Bryce Canyon National Park. On to Arches National Park (motel), the Colorado Rockies (motel) and then home, just ahead of the blizzard that buried the mountains and Colorado Springs.
It was an amazing trip. Nearly a month without newspapers, radio and only an occasional flicker of TV news (SW motels partial to FOX'"very scary stuff).
It was the best of times, it was the best of times. So soul-satisfying to disengage from Vitriol Land (aka, the frenetic political environment) for a while. That thing about purple mountains' majesty and fruited plains? It's absolutely true. This is a gorgeous country, warts and all.
It was sobering to gaze into the convoluted depths of the canyons, following with my eyes the meanderings of the cocoa-colored Colorado River. To shade my eyes against the sun to look up at soaring burnt sienna peaks. To drive across vast ranchlands and recovering farmland that had just yielded everything it had to give. Sobering because I can't fathom how anyone, of whatever political stripe, could view all we have in this country and not want to go to the mat to preserve it for our kids and grands and grand-grands and beyond.
Susan asked me if re-entry is bumpy. And I told her it is more surreal than difficult. I feel as though I've come back to a land under siege. We don't watch television, so I haven't been assaulted by what I understand to be increasingly venomous local political ads. We don't listen to the radio much since MPR wiped WCAL off the map. And we didn't get a Strib again today. I take that as a sign.
Thus it is that I've been able to pick and choose the rate at which I re-engage with the political madness. You know me well enough by now to know it's inevitable that I will succumb. That my righteous indignation will ratchet up. That as Susan wrote yesterday, the tick-tock tension will become almost unbearable for me again. I am so far unwilling to go there. It's too soon yet.
Best I go hang clothes out on the line to dry.