We bolted out of Jackson Hole because we had enough of the cold. It was summer and the temperatures fell in the thirties. I love a cool crisp night with a fire but those temperatures were asking a lot of us and put a damper on our sense of adventure. We found the heat in Utah. A full 60 degree swing to the 90s and in less than 24 hours we all wondered why we couldn’t take the cold as we sweated our way to set up camp in our new spot.
I remember growing up wishing I had curly hair like mom and my sister. I went as far as to get a semi-perm in 6th grade, back when there was a chemical option to create loose curls but not full blown curls. I had never been so disappointed with the results. For all of the wishing and wanting, I wanted my straight hair back. It was going to be a minute for that to happen.
That’s how life happens. We spend a lot of time thinking we want something else. Order envy maybe. We think we want a new home, a new job, a new car, a new style …you fill in the blank. It’s so easy to think something is better or will provide more satisfaction if only you could make it happen. So we fixate on how we will get there and stop enjoying what’s sitting right in front of us. With social media at our fingertips, we all look so content in our posts and it drives a dangerous story line. Like the pixels that make up the picture, they are fragmented images pieced together. It is not the full truth.
It is merely an angle. A small window into a moment.
If you know me, you know I have big emotions. Some days I’m rocking the new normal, matching my mask to my outfit and pumping my hand sanitizer like I won’t run out. Some days I just want to rewind the clock before Covid, hit the spa, put on a fancy dress, and have a nice meal I didn’t cook.
Hot or cold.
We set up camp outside Arches National Park and I wanted the night to fall in place. The kids who had logged all of the changes and long drives were restless in their own ways. I felt my temperature rising and it wasn’t just the heat outside. I don’t always follow along with their humor or their sarcasm and I had enough for the day. We’ve been together every day; quite literally for over 5 months and counting. As much as I love my crew, a little moment to pamper myself seems far away. . . and no, I don’t count closing the bathroom door anymore as a getaway.
T and I ate date night style on the picnic table while the kids took to avoid my bad mood indoors on their own. I decided to focus the rest of the evening studying the stars. I knew these night skies along our trips could produce magic, but wow. It was a perfect way to bring a level of calm to my brain that was in overdrive.
I focused on learning the big constellations in the order I found them…Leo, Big Ursa, Little Ursa, Cassiopeia, Cignus, Hercules, and the planet Jupiter beaming brightly. It would take me a second night to make the full round to Sagittarius, Libra, Virgo and others.
It was grounding to think that the stars and the moon have been in place for hundreds of thousands of years and have not changed. Whether seeing them from the hot sandy rocks of Utah or the cold mountainous ridge of Wyoming, they hold tight to their positions, owning their place and knowing they help hold the balance of all the others.
You may be like me…emotions all over the map, but the stars and moon are not. They were placed in space by design and so are we. We could take a few notes about holding our place for the sake of others. Maybe, I can learn to be okay with all that is in me and around me and just shine brightly.