Far West Texas horizon

This was the one trip I always wanted to make in the Dream Stream. To see her out amongst the stars in the Far West Texas desert with mountains in the distance. It’s the one place that feels so intrinsically home – the dust and dirt carrying grounding properties like nowhere else we’ve yet found in this world.

Perhaps it’s just the dry mountain air, but I swear we feel lighter here.

This is a place of story, our own such a small grain within it all. Here is a place that sparks a tale or two, a plein-air painting, and poetically reminds us what living is. It is as bare as the open valleys and the uplifted cliff faces of the mountains. The stark simplicity is a mental, physical and soul-deep cleanse.

I find my usually hurried-self slowing down with hardly any effort at all. There is no rush from bed to get ready for the day. We move slowly from boiling water for the coffee to grinding beans, and I even make time to read the local paper. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve done that…

Mid-day, we hike up mountain trails with Lily and go on uncharacteristically long, scenic drives. We roll the windows down and maybe pass another vehicle every thirty minutes.

We were reminded how much we love the Airstream while knowing this trip was meant to be a potential once and final hoorah with her. It’s such a difficult thing to bring ourselves to, especially here. This was the first place we escaped to when renovating the Airstream – the place that rejuvenated our intents and goals, dreams and plans. Way out here in these isolated small towns, we always seem to reclaim ourselves and what matters most. We go home knowing what to do next, having unearthed on some long, winding mountain drive what our hearts already know.

I think, even if this is us letting go of our first home, this is also our firm reminder to keep on keepin’ on. These past few months, I have started to panic that my life had become overturned by our decision to move out of the Airstream. My ego kept whispering that this was a failure, a weakness to give up something we’ve loved so much. Yet, this landscape that we’ve known from long before the Airstream told a different story: that even without our sweet little aluminum adventuremobile, we can slow down and savor every moment. We can breathe in deep wherever life finds us. This isn’t the end of the lifestyle we love or a painful plot twist, it’s an interlude to whatever comes next. All this sounds cheesy to write and quite frankly “duh” Kassie, but I really needed it. I became fenced in by my own thoughts and ideas about who we are (or should be) and what we think defines us, and it took this seemingly infinite space, to tear down the fences I built so we could be free to live our next chapter fully.

Thank goodness for the perspective of such a beautiful horizon.

And special thanks to that old country ballad Gene Autry once sang:

Oh give me land, lots of land, and the starry skies above
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don’t fence me in

Let me be by myself in the evening breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don’t fence me in

Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle on
Underneath the western skies
On my cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise

I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
To many words, gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can’t look at hobbles and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in

– Cole Porter, “Don’t Fence Me In”

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