i knew this was going to happen. i asked for it. prayed for it, even.
a few posts down – and what seems like a lifetime ago – i wrote something about how my job is always forcing me to waltz myself into people’s lives, stranger’s lives . . . whether they like it or not.
since i left home, and watched the odometer tick from 278 miles to 3,899 miles (and counting. ohhh we are still counting), i have spent a pretty decent amount of time alone. mostly in the car. and in the hotel rooms. and occasionally at whatever joint i stumble into, always with a notebook in hand.
the notebook makes me look like i’m doing something. like i’m busy. like there is a reason i have the notebook and am semi-pathetically eating by myself.
which i don’t actually mind.
there are weirder things than eating in a restaurant alone.
and on a few stops, i have even managed to strike up a conversation with whoever is lucky enough to be seated next to the girl with the noteboook. who is eating alone.
on another stop or two, i actually made a friend.
but back to waltzing my way into stranger’s lives . . .
yesterday morning, i watched the sun rise over the red rock canyons of new mexico.
cecilia is a Navajo chick with kind eyes, leathered skin, and a thousand years of wisdom.
i knew cecilia for about 12 hours.
i’ll probably never see her again.
but for 12 hours, she was my sidekick. we explored God’s paradise and corners of the earth that are not only mostly uninhabited, but rarely visited by the likes of us who choose popular and rather cliche haunts (i won’t name these spots. i don’t want to offend. but you know what i mean. and if you don’t, it’s really not that important) to vacation or simply pass through with a wide eye.
for 12 hours we swapped stories about life. stories about adventure. stories about which barista at starbucks she prefers best and why.
and then i was gone.
on my way to a new city, to meet new strangers, to waltz into new lives.
it leaves me a little sad. the knowing that i won’t likely see cecilia again. ever.
but it leaves me changed.
there are a lot of good people i have met throughout this journey.
they all have a story to tell me and they each come with a simple way of opening up my mind and my world. and even my soul.
definitely my soul.
most importantly my soul.
[sunrise over the red rocks. with cecilia. gallup, new mexico.]