Drifters for a Day

from desert to sea
 in a day’s drive through one state
 (miracles exist)
 
 rainforests between
 to prove heaven lives on earth
 (nature is my god)
 
 we found our daddy
 after cherry shopping; lake;
 beyond evergreens
 
 a driftwood dinner
 no one could have predicted
 in another life
 
 yet here we’ll find sleep
 all together in one room
 at earth’s clouded edge
 
 

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Views from the Road

The beauty of the road is so much more than views. It is the elevation loss and gain that sneaks up on you as quickly as the road snakes its way along the Snake River.

It is the surprise of the desert that has made its rural-America mark in southeastern Oregon.

It is the spontaneity of stopping at state parks for a peek at history and scenery so breathtaking you feel you’ve stepped into a mini Grand Canyon.

It is the trail our ancestors walked upon that you place your weary soles on now, however twisted and stolen it may be. It is still a silent beauty resting behind a sleepy Americana town, waiting for rediscovery and firsthand learning for three young women.

It is the creek sparkling in the hotter-than-expected northwestern sun, and the quick dip that makes an afternoon sparkle just as brightly.

It is the curve that moves from summit to limitless landscapes, to the expansive end of the Oregon Trail, played out in a quilt of farm fields, and the hope they held for a better life.

The road brings beauty, and within this beauty lies everything you’d expect and wouldn’t expect: children bickering, bits and pieces of trash and clothing piled up in the backseats, state lines that bear no stoppable signs, audiobooks and downloaded movies, snapshots taken from a moving vehicle, trucks that hog both lanes, treeless mountains and endless vineyards, poverty and wealth found behind fences and up on winery hilltops.

The road brings more than views of tall pines, sagebrush-only molehills, and sleepy rivers. It brings us all a new world view where we search for ourselves and find ourselves in each other. Where children find joy in only their siblings’ company, where the road promises a pool at the end of the day and a reality check about small city poverty to remind us of what we have.

Can you see it from an airplane, from a train ride, from a walk down the block?

Never quite like the views you’ll find when you hit the open road. The views of nature, of civilization… of yourself.

You just need one set of keys, a whole lot of gumption, and a pair of soul-searching eyes, and you can find yourself a whole new world view.

The Only Home is Colorado

mountain views bring peace
 better than a city day
 our summer freedom
 
 camping in nature:
 reminder of what matters–
 family connections
 
 weekend getaway:
 my moose, their antlers, our love
 better than the beach
 

Call to Prayer

it isn’t church,
 but a Sunday morning sunshine ride–
 a line of bikes glistening in waning summer heat,
 with shout-outs as loud as a preacher who
 calls his parishioners to God:
 
 Bike up!
 Bike back!
 Slowing!
 Gravel on the path!
 Car up!
 Clear!

 
 the words trickle down the line,
 heated breaths repeating them
 so loud that even prairie dogs
 stand at attention to hear.
 
 and we wrap ourselves
 in blue-sky calorie burning
 led by a fast-paced 78-year-old man,
 just as forgiving for our
 missed turns and flat tires
 as the best of His missionaries.
 
 

Find the Fleeting Light

scaling these cliff walls
 feels easier than your words
 of guilt and judgment
 

 yet, rivers sparkle;
 ancients thrived here, not survived
 (just like you and me)
 

 too much to take in–
 the beauty of history,
 of sights still unseen,
 

 of children’s faces
 as youth clings as fleetingly
 as the setting sun
 

 we are captive here
 in these soft moments of light
 (help me preserve them)