What is home? Long drives leave one with little more to do than ponder such things. To visit with myriads of emotions. Scenery passes swiftly as we zoom down the corridor to Utah. The scenery is very much the same among New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, only slight variances arise. The rocks become more ornate as we drive on.
We pass dilapidated homesteads that have seen pioneer faces and harsh winters, wood fires in the hearth and babies born on spring mornings. Shelters falling into the earth from whence they came. We want not much more than a one room homestead, a large open fireplace and wood cook stove, animals near the barn. Nothing expansive. Oil lamps will do. A cat curled up by my feet. A stew in the open hearth in the Dutch Oven. Such a simple dream and as attainable as a mansion in Hawaii. Did I bring such visions of how life could be from a past life? Does it even exist anymore?
Rodney plays swing music and jazz. Pat rests her head on the seat in front of me. Doug looks out the window. Silent reverie among friends. I am lulled in and out of slumber.
The railways run for miles and I imagine cowboys riding alongside the Iron Horse of old. Parties arriving in the unchartered prairie with packages and children in tow. Long skirts stirring dust in the wind.
The wind farms we left behind have found us in Wyoming. Miles and miles and hundreds across the prairie. More wind farms coming than food farms and I am suddenly alarmed. I must have a place to push in a seed, to pull up strangling weeds, and to water soft earth.
I am homeless this week. Not for lack of working, friends. When I return Monday I must empty the house of all my belongings either by sale or give away. We will put our cats in carriers and head to a new location. What is homeless? Our hotel is gorgeous. A new Embassy Suites in Salt Lake City. We walked back from dinner and was passed by a homeless man. Shatteringly dirty, mix matched, and focused on his tasks. Will that be us?
We worked so hard and helped so many giving of our time and thousands and thousands of dollars of medicine to those that needed it and could not afford it. We have not been complacent or sloth. What keeps us from the streets?
It is humbling to be in position to ask for help. Our upbringing frowned on being a nuisance to others or for requiring help. I would never dream of asking for money. My pride is some bruised. To write at the bottom of the well, a place we never imagined to be, is embarrassing. But what good would it be if I only wrote of rainbows and sunshine and how to plant collard greens if the real stuff in life were not intertwined. A heartbreaking story I hope ends in redemption.
The mountains rise up all around us here. We sit on the patio of the hotel with cold drinks and comfortable silence with our oldest friends. Strength and lessons to be sought. I cannot let this consume me. I cannot become bitter and angry. I trusted and it stung us to the extreme. Perhaps losing everything will get us to where we were trying to go. The sheep on the beer bottle makes me cry.
We go through shops and I cannot buy a thing. There is no home to decorate. How strange this is. What is home? Dear readers, what is home to you?