I took a bus today.
A secret bus.
It takes you from one Vietnamese sandwich shop to another, in a different state, for fifty bucks.
Your fare includes a bottle of water, spotty wifi and a delicious banh mi sandwich. The bus is filled with smiling passengers and smells like Saigon. Light but fragrant wafts of gasoline, incense and fresh herbs.
For fifty dollars you get a ride into the desert and a space to reflect, rest and write. The splendor of God’s creation dances outside the window as we cut through the Sonora. Cacti wave their long twisted arms and mystical mountains stand watch over my heart as I pass by.
It has been many years since I have taken this trip but the driver smiled and greeted me like a long lost friend. I had arrived sleepy eyed and unsure if leaving the comfort of the Pacific was a wise decision.
“I remember you! I am so happy to see you, friend.” He exclaimed before taking a drag of his cigarette and continuing his conversation with another passenger in blistering Vietnamese. I smiled and boarded the bus, comforted by his warm salutation
The west is home, it will always be. From the ranges of the Rockies to the shores of the Pacific. My nose smiles when greeted with the delightful smell of petrichor before a desert monsoon.
I will continue to grow roots in the hills of Tennessee. But my branches will always bend and stretch to the west, toward the setting sun. I guess there is a word for this tendency of plants to grow toward sources of light. I looked it up.
I like that word.