This is surely a late slang term, but it is one I have come to learn and know - a concept of this new world I have taken to myself. And that with gladness.
As I stepped from that platform in long ago, far off Atlanta, bidding all I knew and all those I loved 'Farewell,' I was embarking on a road trip to last all the rest of my short life, and now beyond.
Within that scope there have been smaller road trips, bracketing the stops by the wayside of what we used to call 'the circuit.' There were times I paused with brief hope of peace and place. But looking back with a clear eye, that is all they were - pauses in itinerant meandering.
There were companions on deliberate road trips - Pole Cat Adams, who I hired to accompany me from Texas to Santa Fe, to help with the camp tasks I could not do in my illness. Kate, with whom I made that long wild ride, again fleeing Texas, 800 miles from Fort Griffin to Wyatt and Dodge City in Kansas. And then my friend Wyatt himself, on that long peaceful journey in the buckboard from Dodge to Prescott, when we thought we were finally seizing the beautiful dream of going home. When I thought I had family, by extension, and all the world. Before we awoke.
There is so much to say about each of these journeys, especially the last. But I shall not say it now.
For: now there is something else.
Once, long ago, the Angel of Birth told you your name and the path of your life, pressed gently to your lip to seal it secret, until it came to be. But my lip he pressed and sealed with such feeling and surety his finger stove deep into my soft forming bone, so that it took ten long years to heal. And he stood with me later, his hand on my shoulder, so that I swear I could feel it, giving me comfort, courage and strength through all the dark times that required those. For the Angel of Birth is the Angel of Death. And though I did not know him then, I always felt his presence - company and a promise of mercy. Death and I. We rode together, and I knew it, though I did not know his soul.
And now, somehow, caught out of time, I have come to glimpse that soul. Unlooked for, not even dreamt of. To touch a fraction of the deep richness and complexity of he who has gazed upon His face, enfolded in His love, who watched and sang for the birth of the very stars and was entrusted with the fulfilment of the Pattern of His glory, who has withstood the very torments of Hell, who was made to walk among us helpless. To touch a fraction of his feeling and thought, of what created him as he is with wonder and obedience, rage and murder, pain and regret. I have come to glimpse his soul.
I suggested to... my friend - on wistful whim - a 'road trip.' To come to know him better - see him more fully and clearly, to be known, to learn, to heal, to comfort, to grow, to change. No, I did not foresee so much. To come to know him better, then, and to be known and to know myself.
A road trip.
What I have found in that is so much more than I can express. More than I could ever have thought to ask.
Long ago, in pain, in emptiness, in the cold mountains of Colorado, I gave myself to his Father. And the grace He has given me, in this friendship, love, with his beloved child, entrusted with His Will and Plan, is bigger and more valuable and exquisite than all the universe. A part of Him in us.
A road trip.
Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 653
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Nulli Virtute Secundus