Monday, April 16, 2012

The Road Leads to Forever....


 The old porch swing at the front of Joe Bullard's grandmother's house. I could have stayed there forever...

There is no guidebook to this funny journey I've bee lucky to travel. Most guidelines are fabricated on the run. There will be risk involved. There will be fun. There will be work. A few rules may be bent. There will be interesting detours. There will even be magic, if one sticks with the journey, keeps their nose clean, and keeps their eyes open. But nowhere can one find the laws of how to say goodbye.

I have realized that I am one of those sorts that could not be happy in an office. Like some park tour-guides, farmers, rangers, and even tree surgeons, amongst others working with nature--my office requires perhaps a bit more acreage, my window needs stretch as large as a skyline. Yes, we are out there, perhaps restless, but willing to work, and particularly fond of the differentness of each day. There are no time clocks to punch here, and the work schedule includes simple unpredictability, the willingness to risk...our teachers the people we meet and the situations we undertake everyday.

The Alabama Wagon train has been the perfect adventure, but like so much of life, it is but a small and beautiful hymn in this large and spacious temple, one part of the Road That Leads To Forever. How do you say goodbye to such a thing? Like so much of the past year, this sort of parting is like leaving your bestest childhood friend, sure you will never see them again, and sure that life will never be the same.




Life NEVER will be the same...there was so much to take away from this experience: a humility and refreshing knowledge that, yes, indeed, America is still full of good hearted, funny people that will stick their necks out for things they believe in, and stick together to help a fellow or dame. The Alabama Wagon Train is a story about old time friends, a community of people who voraciously believe in a country way of life, their animals, and the spirit that brought them together.

Alabama itself is full of kind folks that gave two young gals (one of them a stodgy Yankee, to boot!) a shot.  Words cannot express how much I have known and seen: it's long winding roads, haunted golden valleys, verdant hills, antiqued forests and barns, little shacks with olden whispered secrets, postcard perfect farms, stunning and shy equines...they all speak to me in their folkloric way.

Alabama's people have shown generosity beyond reason. Like those long-missed friends in the Midwest, the people smile broadly and volunteer to help you at all turns. Joe and Cindy Bullard, our hosts with the EIGHTY horses, refused our money--outright stopped me from paying for any of our meals when we went out. People had kind words, encouragement, and so much more...that old Southern charm and hospitality were ours in spades. A sense of humor and adventure were everywhere, a ruggedness wrapped in mischievousness seems part of the fabric of everyone's personalities. Mostly, I miss the quiet simplicity of the people's lives.....living from the land, honoring one's family and history and roots, swinging on porches, drinking in tea and nostalgia....

Alabama, why have you hidden from me so long?  I will miss you and your lovely horses and horse (and mule!) folk...

I am indebted to Mr. Jim Crosson, his wife, and the fabulous wagon mules, Kate and Hank. I hope the tradition of that Alabama Wagon Train is continued by Mr. Thomas and the members of the founders--the Silver Sands Saddle Club....
One of these days I hope Joe and Cindy Bullard adopt me..or will at least tolerate a visit from the strange-haired Northerner...
And always, always shall I consider one spectacular fellow Vagabond--Kira Burdeshaw-- nothing less than a sister, if not a partner in my particular adventure crimes Without her, truly, I would be a fool in the promised land (without a tent!)

I feel I am leaving a great Southern Grandmother behind....













ALABAMA, I LOVE YOU!

My heart is held only in the fact that these Alabama journeys will continue (and I shall leave the reason a mystery, as of now), and that I am now off to see my Midwest Family: in less than a week...back to Iowa and Illinois I shall go!

Tomorrow: Beekeeping Adventures!

2 comments:

Georgina said...

I couldn't help but giggle the bit concerning the "office" job. My hubby is a certified arborist and loves his "office' surroundings too. Unfortunately, he works for a corporation which keeps him locked up in his office for hours/week, filling out needless paper work, making cold calls and dealing with selfish, corporate morons.

Sadly, he hates his job now, but as for the trees, flower and fauna, they're his first loves (I'm a very close second). Neither of us are campers..roughing it is the Motel 6 but still in all, when we've had our day excursions into the desert or up into the Lincoln Nat'l Forest or Gila forest in NM, he's in his element.

Have a great day.

xxoo,
Georgina

Zan Asha said...

Thank you Georgina! Yes, I guess we outdoor enthusiasts are around here somewhere!

Hugsxoxox