Day 302 - What the Road Brings...
Night Two could not have been more different than Night One. We landed in a KOA in Petaluma. It was nice but not my preferred type of camping. It was good to get plugged in and take a shower though.
What I am noticing is how much my mind prefers things. I prefer the open road with no destination and a campsite’s only neighbors furry and perhaps dangerous. Tons of rigs parked next to each other with children running all over wearing glow in the dark glasses and gear...not my favorite. But if I do the work, I can see the beauty in it all. All of it. Not just the stuff that speaks to me but the beauty that is inherent in everything.
Let me explain...
So yesterday we drove through mountains, rocky shoreline, rolling hills, a bustling city, small agriculture, large agriculture, pricey towns, towns that were never really towns at all or at least that claim was always a lofty goal, never quite achieved. I had my preferences...of course. But what struck me was that it was all the same...even the changing landscape stayed the same. It was comprised of earth, and sky and beings. All of it. Regardless if I thought it magnificent or wretched. It was all made up of the same basic components. Funny how life takes the same stuff and combines it in a way that changes it completely: same elements, completely divergent result.
What I noticed most on the open road was my mind’s need to classify and label: good, bad, pretty, ugly, like, dislike. All the time. But as soon as I noticed my mind’s revolving thoughts, I decided to just stop. Stop labeling and classifying...it was not easy but I was able to get to a place where it all just was. All beautiful, all ugly, all preferred and all not preferred.
The road brings a changing landscape where anything can happen but at the same time it brings the same things over and over again reconfigured to make you believe that it is all new and different. I mean it is all new and different but it is also the same. I know all about duality but I don’t think that I ever noticed how much it exists in everything, everywhere regardless of whether I prefer it or not.
What I also came to see is how much I change too. My preferences eeking out of me, emotional responses to all the things my head comes up with and all the things it tells me are truth. What I learned is that I can find beauty in the moment, if I take the time to look. And perhaps one of the best life surprises is that anything can be everything if I let it.
So while I sit in my KOA campground surrounded by people who likely object to the Buddha sitting by the front door to my rig, I have seen the way my beautiful daughter’s face lights up in candle light when she is beating the snot out of me at Uno. I have been visited by a hummingbird and a small Tufted Titmouse this morning as I write this. I can hear the Canadian geese call out to each other as they make their trek northward. I am surrounded by redwoods and plants and grass and people who are searching for meaning in their lives. People who have spent a great deal of money to retreat to some form of nature to be with the people they love most in this world. And that is beautiful no matter how it is wrapped.
The road for me, brings...openness. In my life, in my thinking, in my heart. It pulls me away from all that I think I know and brings me to a place where I know nothing at all. And when I know nothing at all, I am able to be filled with something new. The open road calls to me now and so we shall alight for places unknown and heretofore unseen. I have seen it all before though even though I have never been there. I can’t wait to see what I know emptied out to what is unknown...as the open road brings forth more life to be lived and more beauty to be seen in everyone and everything.