Dear reader, I know.
I know I said I'd be taking a little break from Tollipop and I will, but yesterday morning the most unexpected thing happened. I was getting the girls off to school and looking forward to a day of cleaning the house, doing some writing, and pretending it's autumn when my husband mentioned he had an errand that needed to get done...in Utah.
I said: I could do that for you.
And he was all: No, you don't have to...really? You would??
Except I didn't catch that last part because I was already in the car, driving.
My very own roadtrip...one which presented itself out of the clear blue, one which would take me to the land of obvious autumn?
Oh, man. You should have seen me go. I was gone before I could remember to have breakfast, take a shower, invite a friend, or verify if I even knew how to get to Utah.
Once I was done with the errand, it only made sense to keep driving.
Just to see what I could see.
Such beauty of such variety. At this time of year, I am always reminded of a favorite poem:
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spáre, strange;
Whatever is fickle, frecklèd (who knows how?)
With swíft, slów; sweet, sóur; adázzle, dím;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is pást change:
Everywhere I turned, the perfect yellow cardigan warmed me in all its dreamiest shades and hues.
Of course I took a moment to hide in the woods.
Do you ever do that? Hide, I mean? You should try it sometime for like, three minutes. It's a bit spooky, mysterious, and a total time travel back to childhood.
What a beautiful, glorious day.
It reminded me everyone needs an escape from time to time, a real one. I rarely register this thought because...well, I rarely register any such thoughts pertaining to reality. My mind is such a crazy escape in and of itself that my greater concern is to cling to the schedule at hand.
My friend calls that growing up...only she said it more gently. In some ways I'm inclined to agree but I am telling you: I have a very dreamy, wandering mind and it's a constant effort to keep my head in the same game everyone else seems to be playing.
On the way home I realized there was a wasp in the car. A big, buzzy one. At first I thought I should panic and drive off the road, but I played out the scene in my mind and my hysterics were very unconvincing. It's a great disappointment to me, my inability to eclipse a nuclear meltdown. How could I ever be the romantic heroine? I can't cry on demand. That's why, in my school play, I had to be a tree.
At any rate, I noticed the wasp had landed on the window ledge so I unrolled the window and I'm not kidding--that guy hung on. We were cruising along the highway and he just hunkered down and dug deep. It was amazing. I don't know the last time I saw such passion, such a fierce will to live.
What could I do but show respect?
So I rolled the window back up and worried I was going to get the living daylights stung out of me the rest of the trip.
At any rate--being out on the road. Driving. Listening to music, letting the miles pass and my thoughts wash over me, taking in the beauty of my surroundings. Getting home that night and feeling Caroline hug me and listening to her say it felt like forever since she'd seen me.
In a way she was right.
It did feel like forever. It felt as if I'd gone so far and been away so long, when in reality I'd packed her lunch that very morning.
That is the beauty and magic of a rare, last minute roadtrip.
p.s. It strikes me October is a poor choice of months to announce a blogging break, given this is one of my favorite times of the year. To answer several emails I received inquiring as to the nature of my project...I'm just trying to write a story. To call it a book seems a bit lofty at this point. It's not a children's book, per se, (though I'm a bit incredulous yet always touched by your suggestions to write and illustrate such a book...you are aware I draw only one thing, right? Just a melancholy, wistful girl with the occasional rabbit or fox?), but it's doesn't fall in the adult genre, either.
Hopefully it will be the kind of thing I like to read best--a good story that's well written.
I was working on it last year but got a bit derailed with our move, etc. It's something I want to finish and I'm haunted by the words of a former professor who told me there will always be a good reason not to write.
Ha, what did he know?
I have, like, a zillion good reasons not to write.
At any rate, hence the break from Tollipop. But I don't think I can completely break because it's October, darling, and tomorrow I want to show you some pictures from a recent trail run which proves autumn has come to the desert.
Distant and a bit aloof...but still breathtaking. Still every bit as appealing in its own undemonstrative way.