IF YA MISSED 'EM, READ PART 1 + PART 2
A woman up ahead casually closed distance. She was decked from head to toe with a beekeeper-esque hat, Audrey Hepburn shades, long sleeves and polyester pants. Even her teacup black dog had a green and white striped sweater, its tongue hangin' low and workin' overtime in steady pant. As our paths intersected, she softly motioned her hand to the side of the trail to which she stepped, and the pup moved aside, too, in telepathic agreement. As it gazed up at me, squinty-eyed and adorable, I commented on its cuteness. The woman made a sound communicating slight amusement with a hint of delicate laughter, but she didn't speak, and I admired her confidence to nix small talk and go our ways. I'd instantly dubbed the duo's clothing choice strange being it 82 degrees, yet these days, I took my judgements about as seriously as my hair. After all, she could've easily taken me for homeless, strolling up with mixed magenta-gray galaxy patterned shorts (jaggedly cut from capris just before the hike), blue tank top and natural dreadlocks that looked like severe bed head.
The Las Vegas Strip stretched into view through a dip of rolling hills and I was alone again on the footpath. Merely miniatures on a horizon, I covered the spread of world-renowned hotel casinos in record time and curved into a snake bed of writhing trails. I thought of all the routes I could explore~up the peak shaped like an eagle beak, around the hill ripe with Joshua Trees or down around the base that connected back to the beginning trail from the opposite direction. I could follow the electric lines down the rocky bed that caught flash floods in summer. The layers of soft golden dirt coating the rocks were printed with tire tracks from maintenance trucks that kept civilization steady in this sandy outskirt.
But there was more world to see than the hills around Calico. It was time to fly with no answers, simply faith-laced dreams that held the promise of adventure. So I stayed the path and said goodbye to a piece of Vegas that meant the most. The open space where my spirit played with possibility and fear dissipated into knowing. At every stage, growing meant embracing the unknown, and now was my time for mental blindfold.
A few weeks prior, I felt an urge to sell my car. It was one of the last men standing when it came to practical possessions I highly valued. I was closer than ever to publishing my first book, leaving Vegas and being seen in big ways. Yet here I was, driving around with a trunk we hadn't been able to open for months and the tense worry of financial tightness. I vacillated about selling Jan, who I'd nicknamed for her role as the reliable ship that safely sailed me through my tumultuous twenties.
Would I be giving up my freedom, or owning freedom of another kind?
Answers were delivered in glints of mini miracles that kept me on the carousel. A hummingbird hovering on my patio. Personalized license plates that seemed made for me. Dreamcatchers on dashes. A penny on the trail. Now all I could do, was follow the signs.
Signs weave a path of joy wherever we go, it's just a matter of being tuned into their frequency.