Remember the weather forecaster's high wind warning I referred to yesterday in my blog?
They were right. There were high winds in spades. They swept our very roadworthy vehicle from one side of the road to the other. Poor John had all he could do to keep it on the road sometimes. His hands had to grip the wheel so tightly they got numb. All around us in the desert of New Mexico between Gallup and Santa Rosa, dust devils whirled wickedly in the air, dancing along the dusty ground picking up speed, debris, and more dust as they went along.
The air was filled with dust, but at least we could see. After hours of this, we were ready to quit. It was just four o'clock, and we thought we would be in good time to pick up a spot at the State Park outside Santa Rosa. Nope. No such luck. We pulled in right after a truck pulling a big 5th wheel took the last spot. O well. Back to the drawing board. The next nearest campground was on Route 66 just outside Santa Rosa. (Route 66, in our humble opinion, is vastly over-rated these days as a tourist attraction.) We found, you guessed it, another KOA campground. This one had plenty of room and was a bit ramshackle, but hey, any port in a storm. And a storm of wind it was. It howled around our rig and when we tried to have supper outside in the sun, the wind ripped the plates and food right out of our hands and all over the ground, to Leo's great delight. So we just sat in our camp chairs overlooking the rather barren landscape, and rested. Well, John rested. I took Leo for a long walk in the evening sunlight through a field of dusty gold grass.
You may have noticed in the pics posted above that while John is driving in one picture, he definitely is not in another (he's napping) and it seems Leo is driving in still another. Every time John leaves the Road Treck to get gas or whatever, Leo hops into his seat and when John returns, he has to be driven out. But actually, the Driver of the Day was neither John nor Leo, but that doggone Wind. Whew! The folks we chatted with in the campground agreed it was the worst they had driven through. We were so exhausted, we went to bed around 8 pm and slept at least ten hours before heading off again, this time for someplace in Oklahoma. Had we known what we were getting into.........but that's for tomorrow's blog!
One short philosophical reflection: just in case we suffer the illusion that we are in the driver's seat of our life and can nicely control how the drive goes----an experience like this reminds us that the Wind of the Spirit blows where It wills, as Jesus once said, and that isn't always in the way we had planned! And the smartest thing may not be to just drive ourselves on, wrestling with the wheel of attempted control, and buffeted by forces beyond our control.
Maybe stopping to rest, reconsider, and refresh is the best thing. This is sometimes called a "retreat"--not quite the right word for what I am trying to say, but I am sure you get the drift.
So, if we are willing to wind down, we are not as likely to wind up being blown about to the point of exhaustion on the road of life.