I’m driving to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park to meet my daughter and her family. About a half hour into the ride I’m overtaken by a heightened sense of awareness and déjà vu. When this happens whatever is wrong in my world fades away and I am filled with awe and a sense of possibility. The sight of laundry hanging on a backyard clothesline, blooming roadside flocks, and lush greenery made brilliant by sparkling raindrops from a passing storm endear me to a place I never wanted to call home but whose beck and call overpower the fatally flawed part of me that tends to disillusionment by what it wants vs what is possible.
It was the flawed part of me that refused to acknowledge obvious contrary signals I had been receiving from a friend in California on my cross country journey to fulfill a long held dream to live on the west coast. I arrived to an empty off-the-grid house, void of most modern day conveniences like electricity, and on the edge of nowhere with a note taped to the door saying “welcome” and that I was on my own for days to come.
Though the dream evaporated quickly in the days and weeks that followed and despite the overwhelming homesickness and adaption to the wilderness in which I now resided, there was a magical envelope that contained wonders I never had seen or experienced. A tiny green frog no larger than the tip of my pinky, looking into the eyes of a praying mantis perched on my friends finger, “standing” on clouds above the mountains and ocean below as I drove to the beach, and gazing up at the tops of hundreds of ancient redwood trees all held me captive in a place that someone with more common sense would have fled from upon arrival.