Years ago, I wanted to go to Moab. From my home in the Tetons, it was a mere 8-hour drive. I never made it, and there are reasons. You know what that means. Life can get in the way of the simplest of road trip intentions. Work, money, obligations, and established patterns in your day-to-day will determine your ability to both think and live outside of the box. And if you get stuck inside a box of your own making, it is your responsibility to find your way out. If that’s what you want, and you want it enough.
Back to Moab. For years I thought I should see it, and I didn’t know why. It’s not as if I am a rock jumping mountain biker (I prefer mud and am a little rusty), and Moab is loaded with that special breed. And it is no wonder. Viewing the rock formations that surround this small, tourist-laden desert hamlet from a bike saddle has got to be the shit.
At the start of 2021, I found myself in the unusual position of having shed the obligations that allowed me to stall at so many things for so long. Sufficed to say, transformation—meaning, growth—is (and should be) continual. But the the change I have witnessed and initiated in my own life over the past 2 years has been excruciating. Yet, it has brought me here into the present. And I am finally in Moab.
I arrived after sunset and checked into my lodging with no clue what the landscape might hold. It made me happy, as if Santa Claus exists. Christmas can come in many forms, let’s just say. I awoke the next morning and piloted Scout directly to a nearby gorge, one which boasts one of the most stunning drives in this American West. I shed a tear at one point, simply due to my own astonishment. Nature is bountiful, and my gratitude is deep.
From the vantage point of Moab, beyond the traffic lights and t-shirt shops, the Universe sings. The lyrics are found with the eyes first, in the sensuous lines presented by the massive rock formations. It is then the melody itself that hangs continually in one’s peripheral, a constant hum that is broadcast in shadow and light. The sky here lends to the orchestration, as the colors of the terra morph along with the weather. I was lucky enough to witness this under a light rain, the reds begging to be noticed.
I decided to stay for a second more, only because I can. I don’t necessarily have anywhere to be, and I am more than prepared to hoof it through parts of Arches National Park once the tail-end of the polar vortex kills some of this crazy wind. In the meantime, I have to file a story and prepare to write five more – all due in March, all requiring interviews to be arranged, phone calls to be made, appointments to be kept.
Until all of that has to unfold, I can be here now and wonder why I never came before. Or I can be here now and wonder what I might experience next, and how it will make me feel further humbled and appreciative of Nature’s gift.
Above all, I can be grateful that you get what you want when you really need it, and not before.