The open road is not always a pleasure.
Wind, rain, snow, and ignorant drivers often combine to make the experience less than transcendent, though in my experience, the road brings hope, ideas and a certain clarity to my mind and heart, even when the hazards of the road insist on encroaching on the more bright points.
There wasn't much hope of anything but failure this morning, as Ryan and I headed south into a gale from the same direction. My flybox had been missing for at least three weeks, and though we knew it prolly wouldn't be anywhere near where I thought it might be, the variety, effort contained therein, and price tag of replacement behooved us to at least attempt the long-distance search.
We moved on down the road past the new county jail, still proclaiming to the world that it was, in fact, a wildlife refuge supported by our license fees and sportsman's ethics (a sordid tale for another day), and toward the Bicknell Bottoms, the probable non-resting place of my precious box.
We talked about small things and ideas that got our minds awake and away from everyday problems like broken furnaces and lost jobs. The blue sky brought me back to hope, ideals and the honor of those things in the face of bottom-line business investment mentality. We blathered a little about the economy and billions and trillions of dollars, about the failure of Good-Old-Boy Republican-style Real Estate as Capital and the inability of the American mindset to admit failure as an aid to adjustment in direction and philosophy. It's great that they've gone ahead and blamed Obama "Socialism" for their corruption, foolishness and preemptive Corporate welfare state policy. Democrats and Republicans may be two corrupted-to-the-core sides of the same zinc-alloy place marker, but the dominant Republican boilerplate propaganda these days makes me physically ill.
Well. That was something. We talked about it, nonetheless.
As we gained elevation and distance from the valley of the shadow of economic meltdowns, we found more familiar and hopeful grist for the mill. We talked about The Yellowstone Fellowship, our erstwhile quasi-spiritual and semi-academic fallow field for writing and nature studies. We worked out some ideas left dormant for a year or so, thinking on what we could do with my extra time and need for a teaching and service (not to mention necessary income) outlet in the face of the extra time coming up with the end of the school year coming.
We got to the Bottoms and looked to no avail. For all we knew, the box might have been there this morning, but was blown by 50mph gusts into the Fremont river five minutes prior to our arrival, but it wasn't there then.
Turning tail and noticing that the wind was starting to turn back into our faces, we marveled at the universe's ability to appear malevolent and at least like the perfect trickster sometimes. Heading into the wind more and more as the trip home wore on, our pleasure in the task of returning home was challenged by the circumstance of the coming storm whipping dust from newly-plowed fields and the recently burned desert to our west.
Hell. There's work afoot and times are getting hard. The ability of humanity to connect with nature and each other is something that will help us get through it, so those silly drivers in their new BMW's and questionable driving techniques (metaphor aside) nor lost flyboxes shan't affect the higher and more excellent purposes at hand.