Headed West

Looking back a year, the goals I set in mind have come to fruition, though almost accidentally and not in the timeframe or progression I had idealized. It seems most often in my life a big change is needed to make any real change at all: A relationship coming to a standstill, leaving an occupation, moving across the country. And usually, by my own standards, I am totally unprepared. A plant blooms at the height of its season, a call for creating the next generation. It prepares for death, the departure of fair weather, by focusing its energy on the formation of seeds; holding a future that is dormant and uncertain but contains the nourishment to found the growth that may fruit new blossoms in a new season.

 I like being prepared, but I have learned from years of kitchen work how to "make it work," "fake it 'til you make it," and if need be, fly by the seat of my pants. Sure, being a young petite white female helps when I  am stranded on the side of the road (with the lug nuts on my wheel torqued so tight even the burly truck driver who stopped to help had to jump on the wrench to crack them) But I've also experienced enough road/van-magic to believe it could be something beyond my physical definitions, and location in the south, interpreting my luck. There are still good people in the world. Pay it forward.

I left some seeds in Western North Carolina, I'll be back when the right season takes hold. I doubt flowers are aware beforehand that the warmth and moisture of the soil will provoke them to burst from their slumber into radicle and cotyledon, they just move when it feels right.  And suddenly you find yourself in a lush jungle where before were only dead branches on the frozen ground.  

Right now I'm in the desert, someplace entirely familiar from my childhood. Rooster crows seemed exotic to me, as a child growing up in the West, I rested and rose with the sound of coyotes creaking howls. They're more on time anyway. When I was a teenager I thought I'd love to be like Tank Girl: like a mountain man, but as some wild west sex-positive vagabond variation traipsing around the high desert. But I like water, vigorous plants, soil like chocolate cake, tall trees, and I'm not into perpetuating the violence against and appropriation of indigenous peoples' cultures.

I've got to go climb now, it's harder to get motivated when a V0 can sometimes be a challenge, and you're alone. But in places like Joshua Tree or Hueco Tanks, you have to remind yourself 1. sandbagging happens, and 2. More holds are missing/broken off on heavily trafficked routes and 3. you're surrounded by rad people to meet and project with. Rating is pretty arbitrary at times. At HT I crushed a V4 when I was having trouble with the starting move of a V0 nearby. And my homeslice, who is a serious athlete and a crush maniac, had a hard time with the problem I sent, but was otherwise sending stuff I could only fiddle around on. So, it should be obvious anyway, it ain't about the grade, but rather, the process while having fun playing hard.  Hueco was extra awesome for this newbie because of the company of fellow enthusiasts. All of whom, aside from being climbers with serious crush-abilities, were rad folks to spend time with who were also interested in nerding out on the amazing paleolithic cave paintings in the area. (Thanks for the food, butane, conversation, and whisky!)

Practice makes perfect. Even if I never get to be a bad ass at crushing blank friction-y highballs, it's too much fun to not at least try. Climbing gives me even more reasons to explore and ways to focus my mind and body. What more could you want? A garden would be nice. I do keep some plant friends in my van. I've heard of some Westfalia's with a  modified cargo compartment containing a cold-frame. I'll have to investigate building one. The Dream is to one day have some land with a big garden, maybe a small A-frame or tree house studio, a coffee-sippin' reading hammock, goats and ducks to clear the weeds, dogs to walk with to some boulders where I can GET HIGH! On granite that is, or sandstone, or limestone, who knows.