There was no indication in the background music of life to say that the scene had changed. This is, apparently, a construct that exists only in Hollywood or on primetime drama on television. The truth is this: the scene is always changing. The scene? The scene is now -- where I am, what I'm doing, how I feel -- the scene is now. After a trip such as this, I expected a fanfare to announce that I had returned to my home state with evolved skills, a new self-awareness, and permission to change the world.
These three thing sall occurred. And the reason for no fanfare is simple: the scene is always changing, and no composer will survive continuously writing the thrilling notes that draw attention to the change in plot or action.
In other words, I believe that I learned this: I should not wait, with one ear cocked skyward to detect that something new is eminent. Rather, I should understand that there is a constant current of enlightenment that is always moving and whispering. I returned from the West hoping to find a single moment of breakthrough, an "a-ha!" that I could use as a lesson to enhance my character. I sought out places of great beauty and enormous desolation. I traveled to these places, looked into their hearts and my own, and discovered greatness. But I also found this greatness in unexpected places -- in wrong turns, long drives, and friends' homes. The current of life is everywhere and everytime.
In less general terms (I hope) -- the opportunity always exists to discover what capabilities I possess, what character I have, what I want to do with the fortunate life that I have. To roughly quote Prefontaine -- to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. Though I found it easy to assess my gifts in immense vistas and rocky peaks, I also found it was possible to recognize my gifts in everyday life. Now it is time to train, to give my best. This is what I have to offer the world every day. Evolution on a personal scale. I will be a leader of leaders, I know this now and I can live with this in mind in times of personal greatness and average-ness and low-ness.
This is the end of one road and one trip but there are many more to follow. What lessons there will be to learn, what sunsets there will be to experience, what life there will be to live.
Illinois to Mojave and back again. The experience of life can only go on from here.
I stumbled upon your blog via technorati. Your trip sounds fabulous. We just got back from TNRP, Glacier NP and the Black Hills.
Keep taking road trips. They're good for the soul.