In the spring of 1998 after experiencing a series of “reversals” – that means things were falling apart and “going to hell in a hand basket” in most areas of my life — physical health, relationship, professional, financial — I took off. I needed a break. “Get out of Dodge.” Change of scenery! I needed respite, recovery, and renewal. Pulling up stakes and leaving was different for me, yet I knew I had to go. I had seen an advertisement for seasonal help wanted at Grand Teton National Park. Actually, I gave the ad to my then twenty-year-old son thinking he might be interested. He wasn’t. The more I thought about it – why not me! The twenty year old son was working part time, still living at home, and perfectly capable of taking care of himself and the house. The seventeen-year-old son was going to be away all summer performing with The Cadets, a Drum Corp International group. Nothing was keeping me there but the part time job I had at the public library. So, why not! I applied and they hired me. I took a step of faith and quit the library job trusting that I would find another job upon my return. The younger son and I left home on Saturday, May 23rd. I dropped him at the Dallas airport for his flight to New York and his summer adventure. I headed out on my journey. I was a mess of brokenness! I remember tears clouding my eyes and telling myself “Stop this, you can’t see the road,” as I headed west out of Dallas. I was excited, yet I was anxious. Could I do this? What was out there on the road ahead? All I knew for sure was that I had committed to show up for work in the Grand Tetons on Tuesday, May 26th. I had 1,300 miles ahead of me. I was on the road!
JOURNAL Entry: 8:30 a.m. Monday, May 25, 1998 – Somewhere along US Highway 287 north of Rawlings, WY
Along the Road
Not a cloud in the sky.
Not another human being as far as eye can see.
Just wide open spaces and gentle cool breezes.
The eastern sky ablaze in the morning sun.
A ribbon of road before me.
A path of life to follow.
A journey to know.
A destiny to experience.
A history behind
Rich in joy and sorrow, love and tears.
A Hope ahead and today just as rich
Filled with joy and peace, adventure and rest,
Love and sorrow.
All to be known along the journey.
All to be experienced.
Each and all a destiny of their own.
The sun still shines.
The breezes still blow.
The road still winds forward.
The daily Destiny.
The Father knows I trust –
A Heart full of Hope.
Yes! I dance and sing – YES,
Along the road!
Not long after arriving in the Grand Tetons I discovered the Dixie Chicks song “Wide Open Spaces” which became one of the many road songs that lifted my spirit and nourished my soul during the months in the mountains. Even today when I listen to it my heart swells with cherished memories, joy, and thankfulness, as well as the knowledge that I sometimes simply need to hit the road and experience again wide open spaces!!
As much as we think we know all about the turning of the seasons, this phenomenon is still, in my way of thinking, an inexplicable combination of science, the natural world, and the creative power in the universe that is truly beyond our knowing. Spring is a favorite season for me. I marvel in the renewed life that abounds in nature and in me. Spring is the evidence of things hoped for and the promise of restoration and renewal of life — especially after this winter of extremes and discontent. It is indeed a resurrection from the dead, a display of the presence of a Higher Power.
I remain in awe that the seasons do turn, turn, turn, and I am thankful!
PS: I recommend scrolling through the photos as you listen to the music.