Thoroughly Alive

We must hunger after the beautiful and the good...


Epic Sister's Roadtrip

I waited eleven years for a sister and got one five days after my eleventh birthday. On my tenth birthday, neither the doctors, nor I, nor my mom thought that would ever come to pass. The fact that baby Joy was a bit of a miracle got me in the habit of thinking her just about the best gift in the world; it's an opinion I've never grown out of in the fifteen years since. I'm sure I never will. Joy is my pal, my kindred spirit, my sister friend. We tell people that we're so far apart in age that we barely have anything to fight about, which is mostly true. So is the fact that we agree about everything. What's entirely true is that we're best friends and are having the time of our lives on a spring roadtrip for her graduation, and well, just for the sake of sisterly adventure.

Yesterday, we pulled out at six in the morning,  and stopped at Wesley Owen's for a cappuccino to gird us for the road (this is the best little corner coffee shop in CO, nowhere else in the world can I walk in and have my favorite drink made without even having to ask). We zoomed south towards Raton Pass through a close gray fog, with the mountains stabbing through like white swords as the sun fought the rain. We started with music; Joy has me loving a new one about "falling in love in a coffee shop." She is the ultimate deejay and we always have theme songs for our adventures, I definitely think this will be one. With coffee, fog, mountains and song, our adventure began.

Our favorite momentsof the day?

Driving just out of Raton, with glowering cliffs and long, sere fields about us, we saw one cow with a herd of seven little calves. The whole bunch of little ones suddenly skipped off together in a run for the cliffs, seven black imps clicking their tiny hooves and prancing as far as they could. It was the most joyous, abandoned little dance I've seen in quite awhile.

Wildflowers, bluebonnets and fields that greened a little more with each southern mile passed. We played an hour of "soulful" music and there was one instant with Leeland's "Pure Bride," keening around me that this hush came to my heart and the whizzing car, the river-flow of the green fields outside, the quiet smile of my sister, the music were all luminous, holy gifts, and my eyes upon them all were a form of sudden worship.

Starbucks. The first one we saw all day was in Decatur, TX. We practically drove off the road at sight of the sign. I need my coffee!

Driving Fort Worth in the dark amidst a galaxy of city lights, pointing out to Joy the streets and sights of the city in which her youngest years were spent, her story begun.

And, in a rather hysterical last moment, driving three miles of dirt country road in the middle of the night, looking for my friend's house. We passed a furious collie dog who raced us down the road, three deer entirely set on ramming themselves into my car no matter how hard I stopped or which way I turned (we barely missed), and an inquistive possum who looked a bit offended when I swerved away from his staring white eyes.

But best of all was the end, the little cottage of my friend and a dozen lights burning to greet us, and her in the doorway, arms outstretched in the warm air to welcome us to the sweetest of homes. Jumbalya and panna cotta within, candles lit and soft beds made and a late-night talk that kept us in bed till ten this morning.

And the sister's trip is off to a brilliant. Start. Pictures soon to follow.