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We celebrated the completion of our first two months on the road yesterday with tostadas and a long sleep. Our only goal this trip was to arrive in a place in Mexico where dia de los muertos is honored in a traditional way. We questioned many people, and the Mexican state of Michoacán was the hands-down recommendation. So, in Manzanilo, we are close enough to go slow and still make it in time to have a chance to honor the day in a way that has called my heartstrings since I was very young. We’re not exactly there yet, but we’ll listen to the little voice that whispers of the beauty of the world, and, Universe willing, we’ll get to have an experience to remember.. not to negate any of the amazing experiences so far, ones that fill me with hope that we’re evolving in a most beautiful way, revering art, laughter, togetherness, feasts, hospitality, meditation, magic, personal power, justice, joy, plants, water, love, stones, sacred fire, wonder, solitude, mindfulness, healing, and all aspects of this interconnected thing we call life. Politics and gunky choices have disappointed me beyond belief, but have created a platform for people to stand up and say something, people who might have remained silent and watching if certain embarrassing moments hadn’t occurred. Lots of dirty laundry has been hung out to freshen up, and my heart smiles at the freshening.

I sit and write this in the first hostel I’ve stayed in since Guatemala, and the same feeling sits with me. Curious people exploring different ways of life, sharing stories, tips, and tricks. I missed this. I missed tiendas. I missed serious tacos. I love not knowing where I might be in the next few days. I’ve lived most of my life in such an unplanned way because every time I try to plan something, the goddesses and gods laugh. Pencil plans are fine. I kept our pencil plans on the same calendar, and penned in what really happened. It’s nice to see the maybe and the reality. We’re supposed to just be getting to Utah, but had that been the reality, I think we would miss dia de los muertos. So, go with the flow, and be a rock when the flow needs to change. The real power is knowing when to do what, be the rock or be the flow.

Above: Death Valley and some of Bryce Canyon. That creek of salt in Death Valley had life growing in it, little amoeba things and plantish things. Life will find a way.

Below: Fairyland Canyon, Utah. In Turkey, these landforms are called fairy chimneys. They do look like they’re from the Otherworld.

Below: Zion. We mostly drove through this national park because there were so many people that we couldn’t even park to explore most places. The north end trail was lovely and was rather solitary.

Below: re-creation of an old pit home in Boulder, Utah. I try to use the most respectful names for anyone and everyone. The name Anasazi has come to mean ‘ancient people’, but since it has historically been used to mean ‘enemy ancestors’ by people of the Navajo nation, two more appropriate names are debated. Either Ancestral Pueblo Peoples, or Hisatsinom, a name used by Hopi. So sayeth Wikipedia.

And I was looking for cliff dwellings, which are only in Mesa Verde, and were only built and used for about 80 years. Learning.