Who knew what a journey a chance meeting would spur. And perhaps it’s still only beginning.
It wasn’t long ago that I was forced into early retirement. So I gave myself a couple of years to find a new home. I wanted a fresh start. A clean slate. A new beginning where I had no personal history. No evil employers. No ex-wives. No pain of remembrance.
I was very methodical. I searched locations, climates, recreation, proximity to my bucket list of national parks, housing markets, and state and federal tax implications. Yes, believe it or not, if you move to a state other than the one paying your pension, you can be double taxed on your same income.
It was a lot to consider.
And I finally hit upon an area where I thought could pull all of those factors together. So, I contacted various realtors, complied a list of properties on the market, jumped on a plane and spent a week touring homes and the surrounding area.
It was an area sort of familiar to me. I had been there 40 years earlier when I was a young pup bumming around the country and living in my car and out in the wilderness. Of course, the once sleepy little city had grown. And I discovered I didn’t like the housing prospects. It didn’t feel like home.
But while I was there, I would make a connection. A beautiful soul that burned bright. A golden flame.
A chance meeting in a chance location. A moment in time, but at that moment it was time to fly that 1400 miles back home.
Conversations ensued, and she told me of an amazing world not that far from those first explorations. I traveled again and found that magical oasis. But I couldn’t stay. At least not at this juncture in time.
This has been the beginning of a new chapter in life. That meeting brought me out from behind the barriers I had surrounded myself with. Broken down the walls of despair. Set me on a new path.
A journey to recapture the heart and spirit of life. Who knows where it may lead?
Photo: I took this photo of these lonely railroad tracks out in a remote area in the Southwest. I was playing with it in the photo editor and suddenly it came to life. What made this image possible was dust. There were high winds that day sweeping dust across the desert floor and scattering into the atmosphere. That added a blur factor you can see at the base of the distant mountains. It also added a medium to refract light adding varying hues to the sky and clouds. A slight enhancement turned a drab photo into art. A friend described it as looking like an Albert Bierstadt painting.
And that photo’s story parallels my journey. A chance number of elements came together to produce a never-seen-before beauty. And the image itself is one of travel across great distances. Who knows where these tracks may lead? Where that train might take us?