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Timeless Love

All roads traveled led me home
Dedicated to Patrick

Submitted by Dena

When I tell people that I've hitchhiked across the United States more times than I can count, they are completely flabbergasted. It's not as if I set out to shock people, I've just spent my life searching for something. I have thumbed my way through more than half of the United States, and some of the places that I have journeyed to, visit me when I dream. I've seen the sands of the dune, the groves of Florida, and the majestic mountains of Colorado. Each place left its mark, and gave a little of itself to me.

The desert will sweat the worries from your soul; I learned this firsthand. The dry heat is an all consuming force to be reckoned with, and it demands your attention. I've spent months traveling the desolate tracts of Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. There were times, when it seemed as though I was on the set of an old western movie. Tumbleweeds rolled by, frolicking with cactus; the arid ground portrayed wasteland, but was alive and thriving. The endless sky and miles of rough terrain seemed unforgiving, but life persevered nonetheless. I've heard the ghosts of Native Americans howling in the wind, as they whirled the sand in outrage, for the pilfering of their ancestral lands. The jewels of the desert, both liquid and stone, are drawn from inside the earth's gut by a faltering hand. The turquoise is given grudgingly, the oil stolen from within, leaving holes in the world where treasures have been.

The south, with its quiet dignity and southern charm, taught me that the world didn't have to be cold. The Louisiana bayous, with gifts of crawfish and Zydeco Blues, kept my feet tapping and my belly full. Florida offered a sumptuous banquet of orange tangy sweetness, and an infinite view of its crystal green depths. I remember the saltwater burning my eyes, and the strange tickles on my feet as they danced beneath the waves. The endless stretches of shoreline gave me solace, and yielded recollections of childhood bliss. Every night, as I fall asleep, I envision my comrades, the long winding roads of my misspent youth. These are the roads which led me to my true love, and the life which I lead now. Perhaps one day, the roads we travel together will lead us to exotic isles of Hawaii, and offer us a new opportunity to make a new friend.

I have hitchhiked through thirty-one states, visiting some on more than one occasion. All of the roads I traveled led me where I am today. I didn't know it then, but realize now that all of those years I was searching for myself. These are the memories I choose to reflect upon fondly, the ones carefully put away. Every once in a while, I call them home and find comfort, knowing life is my journey now. Traveling is still my forte; it's just the mode of transport that's changed.


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