After stops and starts along the way, I made it to Tybee Island. I was never certain I would make it here this year, until I crossed over the Bull River onto the island, and then a few minutes later turned into the Bluebird B&B.
After “monstrous” unpacking (gotta bring everything you think you could possibly need when choosing non-luxury accommodations), we settled into dinner by sunset. A salad of fresh local greens, Irish cheddar, 3-cheese black pepper bread and sparkling water was a feast.
Toward the end of sunset we did Evening Prayer;
“Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God.”
And so the trek to Tybee Island begins. It’s a journey of miles, of hours, of tradition. And of hope. Hope of finding spiritual rest and renewal in the quiet of this place. In the constancy of the tides departing and returning. In the walking to the beach to be present for the promised sunrise; in the sitting across from the marsh, watching the days end. And in the promise of rest in the beauty of place and in God.
Departing early this morning under a beautiful mountain sunrise, I’m headed to the big city to meet my best traveling friend; we’ll then drive east for several hours until Tybee Island comes into view.
It always feels like coming home. Home to Lent on Tybee Time.
Looking out my window just now- at the mostly barren woods, I can just make out “ideas” of green. Of renewal. Of the coming of Spring.
Looking out a different window, I see a definite sign of renewal. At the end of the drive is a bank of yellow. Forsythia. And nearby, daffodils.
Closer to the house there is the sight of purple, of lavender. THE lilac.
All signs that what has been slumbering through the winter, is awakening. Rebirth.
May Sarton, in her poem Blizzard, says “Hard to imagine daffodils…in this nowhere landscape..”; and saying further, “this very field, changed utterly, with hosts of daffodils to show..”. Indeed, what has been unseen is now seen.
Now in the midst of the Season of Lent, I’m aware of deepening down, of anticipation, of a kind of personal barren time.
In a sense, I have been beneath the ground, and just lately preparing for the Spring of my soul. Buffered about in the past twelve months, I’m a work in progress toward my “blooming”,
Tybee Time calls once again. This will be the fourteenth Lenten journey to Tybee. Rest and reflection up ahead. And renewal.
And so Epiphany in Taos is completed. Yet it will continue in my heart and soul. I so much needed this time and space for my soul-healing.
It took a leap of faith to substitute 22 years of Advent trips with the new Epiphany “look”. And a leap of faith that winter travel in and out of both Atlanta and Albuquerque would work. There’s a lesson there about trust.
And now we each fly our separate ways back home, knowing a new tradition has begun. I return home filled with the northern New Mexico winter quietness. Fed by New Mexican red files and blue corn tortillas, this sustenance will carry me on the way to see what God has in store for me now.
Switching up the 22 years of Advent travel to Epiphany travel has opened up new possibilities and promises of New Mexico travel. Forced by situation to abandon the annual Advent trip, and to create alternate travel, the Season of Epiphany stepped in.
With the new plans, came new ways to experience this place. It is quieter in January. Colder too.
Lots less bustling. With time to feed the birds.
A slower rhythm of moving through each day.
Time to stop and savor.
Much joy of this place in this time.
There is uncommon beauty to be found in this area.
There is also uncommon silence. And a feeling of solitude.
May Sarton says,
“There is a wilder solitude in winter
Where every sense is pricked alive and keen.”
Snow covered sage whispers “shhh.”
This Epiphany journey has been on the quiet side. Just what I was seeking. Days filled with unhurried tasks and activities. Hours spent lolling in front of the fire. Reading, crafting, enjoying a meal.
A body and soul healing massage.
And quiet drives through the countryside covered in snow, skies solemn gray or bright blue.
All covered in a sense of quiet.
Except for the laughter. Rich beyond words. And so it is, beyond words. Simply outrageous joy.
This day brings the joy of reuniting with two long-time friends, both artists in their own way.
Bonnie is a massage therapist I’ve been going to for a decade. She sculpts my muscles and my circulatory system into ways of healing and rejuvenation.
That’s her place up ahead on the right.
But first, this new day brings 17 degrees outside, and a warming fire inside.
And a stop at Coffee Apothecary.
Lunch of fire-hot green chile.
There’s a forecast for snow later.
Tonight Abby, a local ceramist will come for dinner. We’ve been friends now for many years. Time spent with her is as delicious as the meal will be.
I’ve anticipated and looked with expectation to snow during this trip. I’ve checked my weather apps over and over. Yes, snow was forecast. We rented a SUV that could power us through snow-covered roads. And so I waited.
Yesterday afternoon we arrived in Taos, gathered provisions at CID’s, the local grocery store, and moved into our casa. I made a dozen trips from the woodshed to the house carrying firewood. Then we waited.
All the blinds were left open so we wouldn’t miss the snow if we woke up in the night. Around midnight there it was. The sky was colored in shades of pink and yellow. The trees glistened in the night sky.
With dawn came a fairyland!
Followed by the requisite fire.
We ventured out to try a new espresso shop, the Coffee Apothecary.
Nachos by the fire this evening.
Abundance filled this day.
Awoke early to get going north. Greeted by New Mexico sunrise.
Coffee stop soon after at aptly named espresso shop.
Drive to Santa Fe for another cappuccino.
A beautiful drive along the Rio Grande
Late lunch of blue corn cheese enchiladas with red chile.
Finally home! Casa a los abuelas.
Descending into Albuquerque the view below offered a glimpse of one hoped-for expectation for this Epiphany journey. Snow. Just a dusting, but still, my heart felt a tug of promise.
With the traveling friends reunion complete, we set out for a late meal of wonderfully delicious small dishes.
Then in for the night at Home2, a new member in the Hilton chain.
I’ve been impatient with detours and road blocks, and the time it seems to take for my heart and soul to heal. Epiphany in northern New Mexico is filled with balm.
“An old adage says that if you want to travel fast, travel alone, but if you want to travel far, travel in a community. But even beyond that, if you want to travel with depth, learn the names of flowers along the way, fall in love a thousand times, believe that you can meet the demands of suffering you encounter, speak your truth to power, and live into the mission of your life. Travel together, so you can travel light. Community too is a sign that we need others as we make our way.” Becca Stevens