The pressures come from all around. To respond, to caregive, to simply check out. Where does one find the center in it all, on the solid ground in the hurricane’s eye where for a moment everything is still?

We’re in Kanab, Utah, and it’s the first night among seven more for my family on a Southwest US car trip. The motel we’re at tonight and tonight only has just enough kitsch that it can almost hide the age of itself. Little details, like Hollywood starlets names above the rooms entrances, a brass lock showing “Do Not Disturb” when turned one way, and “Maid Request” when turned the other, along with luggage holders with handsewn fabric, and a JohnWayne31 internet password all show the heart of the place.

The stars, oh, the stars. Let me tell you about the stars. On a two-lane highway, less than an hour out of town, we stopped on the side of the road. All four windows went down, the headlights turned off, and Dave, two-year-old Evelyn, and I tilted our heads into the 29-degree night and cast our eyes to the sky. 

I knew they’d be more decadent and that they’d have more “pow” than at home. But like always, I forgot. Imagination and memory have nothing on reality, don’t you think?

Before I go, do you know what A&W stands for? I didn’t either. This is the sort of riff-raff conversation that is had on the 3-hour-plus drives. “No,” I shake my head, knowing a silly response is coming my way. But my husband pauses, his silence causes me to question myself. Does A&W actually mean something else, but he’s forgotten and is now trying to remember? Then the answer comes, it catches me off guard. “It stands for Amburgers and Woot Beer.” I laugh and laugh.

It’s good to be here, to have ample time ahead of me on this vacation. I look forward to being in and of the land, being with myself, and my writing and family. It should all be delicious. Stay tuned. 



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