February 18. Ramona, CA
We traveled a couple hours southeast of Escondido to Ramona-my Aunt’s hometown for 54 years. She’s the Matriarch of our family, now the last living relative of that generation. Her spoken word memories are now the best around. Because my parents were not writers, her word is the last aged portal of the life I had to survive under my parents ‘rule’.
Over tacos, tostadas and enchiladas my Aunt sprinkled in a story or two about my life, living in the home of a couple of alcoholics and her wish that she could have somehow rescued me (and my sisters).
Hours later Franny and I sat in camp chairs surrounded by a small Tamarisk grove and the silence and desert mountains reviewing the conversation with my Aunt. While we both suffered in different ways by our parents ‘rule’, we have much in common as our parents pushed us away and offered little moral support for the tasks of growing up.
Of course, my parents had little moral support either. So they modeled their history. For us kids, they relied on society to provide support and guidance for our development; schools, church, service groups and neighborhood friends. As for themselves, they relied on the workplace, church, service groups and family to ‘reign’ them in; to provide some structure to keep them stable and functioning as they lived their alcoholic lives.
Sitting quietly in the Anza-Borrego desert I can feel my heart cry as it releases tears. These tears dry quickly. My soul continues on its journey as it brings me closer, every day, to my place within Nature’s diverse community.
Today begins a new phase of our journey. We have entered the desert where we will stay for a couple weeks as we pass through the Anza-Borrego desert, to Patagonia Lake State Park in the Tubac, AZ area, to Kartchner Caverns in Benson, AZ and then to Big Bend National Park in southern Texas. Lots of hikes, geology, plants and birds; Yeah!