We did not travel to gather anything more than what our hearts could hold. Our only plan was to be in motion. Our destination was never held in higher esteem than those towns that came before and after her. Those trips in between served more than transitions and more than places to fuel and feed. Combined they helped to render our minds speechless. We didn’t learn this until the very end when we tuned into a gift from someone new in my life. A new love who rarely offered any advice or instruction, but the night before I left San Francisco, he added a “book” to my iPod. Now as we left Cheyenne, and believed our trip to be nearly complete, except for the 18-hour drive home, we now listened to the strange voice… Suddenly certainty.
Within minutes, it was all clear. And like the wrap up to a presentation – we were told what we just heard. Our road trip was summed up in the words of this odd man. Hours were moments, and we imagined our car gliding over traffic and into California. We had arrived to the present. As he spoke, our short life on the road came into view and the past slipped away. A truck carrying cows with eyes peering through the slots saw it happen.
Now I am a child. I’ve never seen a cow, except on these cattle cars. They move past my house on their way to be slaughtered and butchered in the famous Chicago Stockyards not far from my neighborhood.
“Learn to die before you die,” the strange voice tells us. That evening we arrived in San Francisco. We learn of a white buffalo that was born on the ranch of a Native American. The calf was murdered in the night.