~ 15th Day ~
Lake Vallecito...Baker's Bridge..."Falling Rocks"...3am Disappointment.
My second full day in Durango was just as memorable as the first, but it was a much slower pace than yesterday. Rob didn't have a show tonight and he, Jenny and I had designated this as a "day of rest." Still, it was full of conversations, beauty and dropping rocks along the pathway.
After the usual for breakfast, we packed up Rob's truck with food and five tubes... we were headed to Lake Vallecito, which is an hour's drive from their house. The drive was a combination of laughter and music. When any Phish song came on, it brought back a flood of memories from the old days of cruisin' on back roads with Rob in my Thunderbird... harmonizing with him as our hands were either dancing with the breeze of open windows or drumming to the beats on the dashboard. Many years have passed since those carefree days, but our voices still harmonize and the music of Phish still makes our fingers and hearts dance.
When Lake Vallecito came into view, I was taken aback by the raw beauty. Even though the water level was low, the lake was still expansive and the water was clear blue. There had been a large forest fire that had swept through the surrounding forest, and I found the contrast of lushness by the lake and starkness that started 100yds away to be metaphorical. Even where there was death and destruction from the fire, there was new life growing under the ashes. Their is pain from death... the flames of life touch everyone at some point. But after the smoke clears, that which was burned become the bed of hope for the new season of life that comes thereafter. Yes, we may still feel the pain and have days where we still feel as if it's burning, but the tiny green stems poking out from the ashes gives us fresh hope of that life continues... and the flames of darkness were actually fertilizer to the new life that emerges from it.
I went for a short walk by myself after we unpacked the truck. Found a few gnarly rocks and soaked up the quietness of this beautiful place. When I returned, the tubes were laid out at the shoreline. Once inflated, the five of us set out for the middle of the lake... where we would spend the next hour plus. It was so relaxing and refreshing.
The blue sky began to turn grey, and the afternoon rain was inevitable. We reached the shore, let the air out of the tubes, and let out a deep sigh ourselves as we headed up the hill with the lake behind us. Despite the raindrops that bounced off the windshield, we weren't ready to go home quite yet. Baker's Bridge was an hour drive, and we let the rain take it's course during that time. When we got to the landmark bridge, the sun had trumped the grey clouds and turned the skies blue once more.
Now I'm still a somewhat crazy and daring girl... even without the extra "liquid courage" or "sanity-suppressant stimulants." BUT as much as I wanted to jump from the high bridge into the water below, I took a moment of contemplation to think about the effects of a "bad leap of faith" and the effects it could have on the 2 months left on this journey. I was getting some encouragement to jump by those with me and the other people who were making this jump, but I choose to cheer on those who were making the leap and keep my own feet dry. This place was picturesque and I could see myself coming here to spend alone time with the One I have faith in... my Bridge over troubled waters. But this city was not my home mission field, and therefore it was simply a place to travel through and leave seeds of love and prayer. I left a rock where hope would be found by someone who needed it at just the right time. Maybe they would make the leap of faith to begin (or re-dedicate) a life lived for the Rock and Redeemer... who wants to spring new life from their ashes.
Back at Jenny and Rob's house, the girls had to go clock in for work, so this left me and the boys (Rob and Austin, Jenny's son) to hang out for awhile. I was falling behind in my FB day posts, so I took an hour to begin writing "12th Day." These posts take much longer than one might imagine... an average of 2-3 hrs, 'cause I can't sit still and my attempts to multi-task don't go as successfully planned. After an hour of writing, the boys were growing hungry, so we decided to visit Jenny and their good friend, Adria at their work. It was burger night and I was told the discounted price would not affect the quality and taste of these burgers... they were right.
While scarfing down the deliciousness, Austin was working on the kid's activity paper from the restaurant. I saw a corner section that had fill-in blanks to "First Week in Durango." I asked Austin if I could rip this portion off and have Rob, singer/songwriter, fill it out with me in mind. You can read his descriptive choices of words in the picture. Mind you, there are some inside jokes that will furrow your brows with questioning, but I was all smiles at this paper souvenir.
Our bellies more than full, we said "see ya later" to Jenny, who I observed waiting on other tables and must say, she knows the restaurant industry well... her beauty and people skills make it easy to tip her well. I so admire this hard-working woman.
The next stop was Walmart, but not for the usual searching for a parking spot where I would sleep in my truck for the night. I was actually here to go shopping... for a GPS. I should have made this investment at the beginning of the trip, as the mountain roads were dangerous enough without holding a map in one hand and oscillating my eyes from the map to the road. Better late than never! I made a quick, but contemplative, purchase and Rob confirmed that I had made a good choice of the newest model they had. Setting it up would prove to be not so quick, but the overall investment has proved to be worth the suppressed outbursts of wanting to swear or throw my laptop and new GPS across the guest room. Rob's patience and my determination were eventually successful in programming this gadget that would help me navigate future days on the road.
Backtracking to before this frustration at the house, we had stopped at Walgreens to stock up on some things. Before we pulled out, I left a "Love" rock on a hidden electrical box of sorts. I prayed for the person who would find it... I hoped for this person to be one who had a past that entailed lack of love and who needed a reminder that they were loved by a God who didn't need a reason to love them. Maybe this small rock would lead them to a relationship with the Rock who longs to let this person hold them in His everlasting strong, but gentle, arms.
Fast forward to the last hour of light before the night, Rob and I had Austin take a picture of "Big Brother Blue" (Tumbler) and "Little Brother Blue" (Rob's truck). We joked about how my truck was descriptive of a Mid-West farm-girl's truck and his was perfect for the Colorado mountain man he had become. We each love our trucks!
The next few hours were spent relaxing and continuing conversations with Rob and Jenny. If their back porch had a coin meter for time, there would be a lot of money deposited for all the hours we were "parked" our there. So grateful for my good friends Rob and Jenny, whom I care deeply for.
At 12am, I retreated to the guest room to work on finishing the "12th Day" post. Again, the multitasking of doing this and 3 other things was not very productive, time-wise. I was still trying to figure out the GPS, catch up on newsfeed of other friends, and plan the next mission field after Durango. The last sentence of the day post had been written and I was ready to push the "post" button. Suddenly, my computer froze and tried to be patient in letting it thaw out, but it remained frozen. Deep sigh, I knew what had to be done... accept the lost investment of the 3 hours it had taken me to write this post that now would be forever lost in cyber space, It was 3am and I wasn't about to re-write it, 'cause my eyes were past tired. I forced the computer to shut down, and didn't have to force the shut down of my body once my head hit the pillow. Tomorrow I would try again, and save each paragraph on Microsoft Word as they were written... sometimes we have to learn the hard way. We don't learn as much when things are easy breezy with a Phish song playing in the background. Tomorrow would be one of those breezy days of sun and sweet soundtracks, but still I would learn much in doing more listening than talking. It's hard not being able to rescue those who are lost.
Each of us have experience forest fires in our backyards.
Some of us have been burned more than others have.
We heal differently, but we all have been scarred.
Hope will spring new life from the ashes
Be willing to go through the process.
Joy will grow from tears fallen.
Your own scars can help some else heal.... these are the experiences that are like the tiny, green stems springing up from the ashes of your own experiences. It's so beautiful... the process of discovering the purpose in the pain. Keep your eyes open for hope, my friends
~Unshakable Peace, Hope and Purpose~
cling to the Rock