I love road trips. Probably the wrong weekend to trek up to Jackson Hole (July 4th), but the drive did not disappoint. Got some great shots of the Grand Tetons. I will never get over the magnitude of these mountains. No photo can do them justice. I know, it's been tried...and I'll still say that you need to see them for yourself. Call yourself a professional photographer, but...when you stand before these incredible edifices, it's too spiritual for words:
Yeah. There's that. My Sunday drives have been epic. As a Music Director for any given church or denomination with four walls and a sound system...nothing can compare to God's grandeur in nature. When I turned the corner on the highway and realized what I was looking at...I stopped the car, broke down and cried. We are so very little. We are so insignificant. At that moment, I knew where my "church" was...where my "religion" was.
Had enough caffeine to get me "there"...and that was Jackson Hole, WY. Like I said...the most wrong place to be on a holiday weekend, however...as different as the culture was, I sat on the side, sipping my iced latte and watched the crowds stand in line. I don't know if I was more grateful that they were at Jackson Hole Roasters instead of Starbucks, or that I was just smelling beans from a block away.
Iced latte for me that day. Could feel the morning heat growing to the point of "tolerable", but I did spy the coffee grinders in the window above. Totally coolio...and a perfect start to a perfect day trip...tourists and all. I know, I know...most of them were probably wondering why a gal in a corner booth had it all to herself.
Hey. It's coffee. Deal.
As I escape on the weekends from the country and global drama...I can't help but feel how blessed I am here in the great state of Wyoming. Living in one of the least populated states in the Union has its perks, in that...I can roam free. One of the very few states where I can. And I have to think why that is...
Recently, the Mokelumne River...on the border of Amador County and Calaveras Counties in California...was [finally] designated as a "wild and scenic" river. It amazes me that so many had to fight for that, for so many years. One of my friends in CA, Katherine Evatt, had been fighting for the Moke for so long, and to celebrate such is a huge milestone. But...why? Why the fight?
When I see the Popo Agie River crash into a mountain...when I see the Wind River flowing wild and free in the Wind River Canyon...it makes me wonder why California's politicians and lawyers just can't "get it". No one should have to should have to fight for Earth's streams and rivers to flow free! I'll tell you this much, for any "government" in a global community to have to designate a river as "wild and scenic" (especially to Native Americans) is completely and utterly laughable.
It's wild and scenic..."because we said so". Really? No. It was wild and scenic before you said so.
I have to admit, I've been living in way too many cities in the past decade. Too many political jurisdictions. I know I can't escape it; politics are everywhere. But when I look out at the Riverview Valley from my back deck, I know what is true. That the places I drive to, and the places I call home have a voice of their own.
A few mornings ago, while enjoying my coffee on the back patio...I saw an eagle with a huge snake in its mouth fly above me. An amazing sight. How many ever get to witness such a thing? The strength of the eagle to keep that snake in its beak, the snake curling up and around, trying to break free. I don't know if the Great Spirit meant for me to see that, at that point in time, but I did see it, and was it a sign? I don't know...
Freedom. It means so much to so many people. To assume to define it is folly.
As I get back to work...getting on that gerbil wheel again (I'm no fool; I very well know I'm a prisoner to taxation without representation)...my hope is that we can take the blinders off and see what is "wild and scenic". What freedom really means...not just here in the U.S., but in a global community who aches for understanding and so much help. The signs have always been there, and I totally admit, I myself have been blinded. But what do I see? The strong tree in a fire-devastated forest. The reverenced, magnanimous mountain. The vast, sage-brushed prairie. The rivers that have always been running free...
I am ecstatic that the Thailand soccer team is freed. That made global news. But I also think about those in our own communities who are not free...from violence, abuse, criminal injustices, bigotry, etc. Do we really need "signs" before us, before we wake up and help those in need? Because these problems are in America, folks. It's the reason why America is not "great again". We cannot live in a hypocrisy...say that we're great when, indeed, we are not.
To me, it is time that America sets the example of true freedom, as our Founding Fathers would have wanted. Something so "wild and scenic" that it would shock even those who would put up walls to understand the magnitude...as great as the Grand Tetons brought tears to my eyes.
Ah, well. I guess you had to be there...