Back but different

Trip Start Jul 02, 2007
Trip End Sep 04, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Monday, September 3, 2007

My first stop in Minneapolis was to get my hair cut and colored! Scraggly hair is fine camping but I am vain enough to want to look good in the city.

So did I find out who I am and who I can be? Did Keesha? Yes and no. We discovered that Keesha comes from a long line of canines who love the joy and freedom of running. As a Siberian Husky, Keesha herself is wild, more so than other breeds of dogs, closer in behavior to her wolf ancestors and needs the freedom to run. Yet she also has a deep stillness in her, a calm acceptance of what ever happens. Her beauty attracts attention everywhere and she knows it but never abuses it. Keesha found her ancestors, her roots in the Arctic. She is a canine, a husky but she is unique, one of a kind. She and I are family, reflecting each other's true essence unconditionally.

Though I would not have said so before I left; this journey was a quest; a quest for my heart and my spirit. I vaguely understood that before I left but not really. All the roads lead north, and I drove north to the end of the road, almost. I turned back and to my surprise, I discovered I was seeking a teacher. A teacher and healer appeared in the most unlikely place and I felt my spirit return to me. Against my fears, I set both Keesha and myself free, Keesha free to run the tundra, caribou antlers in her jaws, me, free of my past, the chains of ancient emotions left clattering on the dusty Arctic roads.

The fire in my being that drives me to go on journeys and dig deeply into my essence has often been an exploding star, a raging wildfire. Yet fire can also be a sparkler, or the flame of a match. Perhaps it's time to be gentler in my path of fiery transformation, to be gentler with myself in general. Like Keesha, I am myself, unique-I can be many things. I own my own life and only mine and so I live my truth and only mine and allow others theirs. The joy, freedom and peace I soaked up in the vast silence of the sub-arctic wilderness are part of me now.

As with many journeys, the effects take time to percolate into the soul, the fabric of our being and begin to show in daily life. Slowly, I will begin to notice small differences. Funny thing is I'm not yet sure what those differences look like yet. I know for certain they are gestating inside like seeds ready to burst into green life. And I promise that I will guard them fiercely like a grizzly sow protects her cubs until they grow strong enough to be an integral part of me.

What's next? We are living with friends in Minneapolis until I find some work. (Got to make some money for the next adventure!) I am compiling and editing this and other material, getting it ready to send to publishers and agents. And I'm dreaming of the next Travels with Keesha adventure. Might be my genetic tour, a search for the bones of my ancestors. Or maybe I will return to Tanzania and other parts of Africa. Who know! But where ever it is, it will be just as magical as this journey to the Arctic. As Steinbeck said in Travels with Charley, "...we do not take a trip; a trip takes us....the certain way to be wrong is to think you control it." I agree wholeheartedly and welcome the next journey with heart wide open.
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