22. This is Route 285 in Colorado – generally heading from Denver to Telluride. People live here. Really beautiful, kind, hardened, and hard-working people. I met a few in the gas station, a few in the diner, and a few when I had my tire repaired. The couple who gave me directions to the post office looked at me with terrible sadness and concern when I said I had lived in DC. They weren’t concerned that I was “of the swamp”. They were elders, concerned that I was spending years in a place in which my soul couldn’t breathe. They were partly right. They were partly full of stereotypes. But it was a good and interesting start to a conversation on the side of that country road.
This is the America that so many of us in DC and Seattle never think about, as we battle traffic and people and perceived and real scarcity.
If you can, if you can possibly imagine it, get into your cars and drive. Don’t plan. Stay in the local spot or camp on the land, eat the grilled cheese, the cordon bleu, the food that you come across that is the aspiration of the cook or chef. And discover without effort that we all want and all seek the very same thing. Good lives: security, community, love, personal growth, and to be needed. To be important, somehow, even though we are just a speck in the cosmos.