If you’re looking for Love, you find signs of it pretty much everywhere. It probably doesn’t hurt if it happens to be February 14th either.
Last night, pulling into the BLM area south of Havesu for the night, it was pretty dark, and I had the regular flutter of anxiety about my chosen parking spot. Because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it’s just the wrong place. But this morning, I was greeted by a sign, assuring me I chosen just fine. In case there was any question, the Universe included an emoticon.
Since my current travelling theme is “slow & meandering” I decided to visit an RTR friend who recently re-emerged from a watery paradise somewhere “not too far away”. My style of meandering means doesn’t much take mind of linear travel, so I plot a nice curvy, back-tracking route up to the Wendon area to join my friend at a lake-side haven for a day or two. But not before a quick swim, hot tub and a shower at the Aquatic Centre in Havasu. I have no idea how long it will be before I will have the opportunity to swim (or shower) again.
Although today’s trip involved back-tracking to Parker, I began taking new roads at the turn-off to Quartzsite; taking 72 E, then 60N. I stopped in the little hamlet of Hope, and because I was looking for love, took time to enjoy a small meditation in an obvious place.
I used to set time aside to do “sit” meditations, but now I just throw one in, whenever I feel moved. Usually when I see a sign of some sort that reminds me! Haha! Reminded, I spent time thinking about how Love and Hope are usually found in the same place, and how my church can be anywhere I choose.
As I turned north toward Wenden, the terrain changed significantly and I parked at the side of the road to wander in the desert for a while. The saguaro were the biggest I’ve seen since arriving in Arizona and I sat for a while beneath this giant, wonderubg what it was about this area of desert that was so appealing to these cacti. They just seemed to love it here.
And what do you know? There was love again. And as gave my thoughts time to wander, it came to me: when you are in an environment you love that has the nourishment you need, you can’t help but grow. (I didn’t learn the science of it for cacti, but was reminded of the principle for people)
I met my friend at the Wayside Oasis- a little “Everything” establishment in the middle of “nowhere” (of course it’s not nowhere to locals, only to those of us who don’t understand the desert) and we had lunch.
Here at The Oasis, one can get gas, ice, free water, advice about local fishing and a real sense of the community. One can also get awesome food and wifi. As it happens, they were also spreading Love; in the unexpected guise of fresh grapefruits or oranges one could take on the way out of the restaurant.
After lunch, we made the 4 mile trek down to the lake – Lake Alamo- where I was able to park right near the shore. This is a stunningly beautiful location – only about 90 minutes from Quartzsite – unserviced 2 week, free BLM land with beautiful views of the lake, mountains, and most of all BIRDS!
So many birds: Herons, Grebes, Coots, White Cranes (I’ve forgotten their names), pelicans, sparrows, hummingbirds, vultures, blackbirds and I’m sure many I haven’t even seen yet. Although I love the desert, I sure do miss seeing a variety of birds regularly. My final reminder about love today was that it can float on the wind, as bird songs that are new to my ear.
The rest of the day was spent catching up with my friend, taking a walk to visit some local guys camped nearby (who had an awesome collection of rocks and other “sundries” like rusty blades and bullet casings they had collected in their daily walks in the desert) and cooking.
I turned in after the sun has set, listening to the yip of a lone coyote some distance away. My tummy was full after a communally-cooked dinner of fish tacos, featuring fresh fish from the lake my friend caught. I was pleased with myself because I have slowed down in my travels enough to start playing with the wood carving tools I brought on this adventure and had not yet touched and I found myself planning to work on it a bit in the morning.
I smile as I fall to sleep, realizing I have no intention of leaving tomorrow.