On the Road

Tonight, I’m flying to Tucson. It’s spring break, and the boys and I are going on a road trip with some friends.

I’ve never been to the southwest, except with Willa Cather, via Death Comes For the Archbishop.

The itinerary involves landing in Tucson, then driving to Santa Fe. Along the way, we’re going to stop at a place called White Sands where, apparently, you can surf. Ha. We’ll see. On Easter, we’ll be going somewhere sacred. Maybe we’ll even get there early in the morning which is the best time to be anywhere on Easter.

Along the way there will be road food and the kind of hotels with buffet breakfasts and a pool.

Maybe the best time to think about change is when you’re on the road, driving to places you’ve never been. I’m bringing my computer and my camera, so I’ll let you know how the trip goes and how change looks from somewhere other than where I live now.

For now, I’m packed — flip flops are the order of the day.  (Except for hiking up to cave dwellings.  That requires something more serious.)


16 thoughts on “On the Road

  1. Oh, wow! This sounds wonderful. I’ve been to Tucson once, when I was seven, and wanted to go back ever since! Have a wonderful trip!

  2. sounds like a blast. are you going to blog your vacation as you spend it, taking up your free time chronicling your precious days of freedom with the family?


  3. So interesting– before I read this, I was contemplating the idea of taking my kids on a road trip to see the Grand Canyon and the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni reservations. I travelled around that area with a friend before I had a family. There a great many holy places, and wonderful vantage points for contemplating life. About ten years ago, I want through a time of extraordinary upheaval and change, BL. I had the help of a wonderfully wise woman therapist. The first step– which you can, in fact, repeat over and over again, is to imagine what your life would be if it were absolutely perfect. The perfect home, job, lover/spouse–write it down. Imagine it in detail. Close your eyes and day dream about it. Somehow, it begins to crop up, like the first flowers of spring. I was so skeptical, but I tried it. First, the spouse showed up– then, after I wrote down everything I wanted in a job, the notice for it showed up in the mail. I don’t know if the exercise simply helps you to recognize what you need when it shows up, or whether there is a more cosmic process involved, but it worked for me. I am living the life that looked impossible to attain, to the person I was 11 years ago. So, more than a decade on, I am trying to repeat the exercise, and re-imagine life now that my child-bearing years are behind me. I am so grateful that I do not have the burdens of poverty, violence and ignorance so many women are forced to carry. Have a wonderful time, Lily. If you have a chance to visit a kiva, tell the ancestors what you need . . .

  4. Ah, road food, buffet breakfasts, White Sands & Gila Cliffs! Sounds like heaven…. “Do not miss the opportunity of enjoying yourself as much as possible,” as Mrs. Bennet might advise.

  5. Thanks litlove — We will have fun I’m sure. There’s something about that open road….

    Marie, Didn’t she say that when she sent a daughter on an ill-advised and poorly chaperoned trip to Bath? It’s fabulous advice, even so.

    Mary — What a good idea! I’d love to lie around and imagine the perfect life. I don’t see why I can’t do that while I’m staring out the window, on the way to somewhere else.

    Bookfraud, My thought exactly. Life is better when you get to write about it. I know that’s weird, but it’s absolutely true. My ideal life is one where I get to write all the time — about everything that enters my head, the more ridiculous and trivial the better. Oh, wait a minute. That’s my blog. Except I don’t get to write in it all the time. Anyway, I’m at the airport at this moment (our flight to Tucson is an hour and a half late) and I just asked Jack whether he minds that I’m on my computer writing in my blog and not talking to him about his hopes and dreams or playing magnetic travel chess and his response was, “I don’t care. It doesn’t really matter.” Obviously he’s way, way beyond me.

    Thank you Emma. Tucson is an hour and a half longer of a trip than we thought, our plane being late. But you know what? It’s great being in an airport and not being in a hurry. I haven’t had that experience in a really, really long time.

  6. Have a wonderful journey, Lily! It will be good to read your road observations and how ‘getting away’ inflects your thinking about change.

    Death Comes for the Archbishop really gets the southwest right. It gets so many things right…and is so beautifully crafted. I treasure it!

    Safe travel!

  7. I do this silly “Monday Meandering” thing on my blog. And it brought me to you.

    Reminds me that I need to get a pedicure before WE leave for Spring Break next week! Have a wonderful time.

  8. hmmmm…how is it that you have a photo of the airport departures sign on the morning BEFORE you go? does this bespeak planning ahead?

    the georgia okeefe museum in santa fe is great. And the FOOD! i can taste the blue tortilla enchiladas. yum. If you drive one day up to Taos you’ll go over the gorge, which is glorious…and can go to the taos reservation (in town…very cool) I can’t remember the name, but there’s a catholic chuch (very old) between santa fe and taos that has holy dirt in a hole that fills up every time some is taken out…healing dirt, for bodies, hearts or souls that hurt.

    I heard a snippet on NPR this morning (?) Joseph Conrad (?) talked about the necessity of setting sail when in his “days of November”…
    i think we all have them. Gray, cloudy, with only Winter in the future, and spring far far away. Setting sail, seeing new stuff, feeling fresh. I always feel my right size in the desert…small, not hemmed in. Open. New Mexico was a very good pick.


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