Today at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, I marveled, wide-eyed, under a big and blue western sky, at the wonders of our Earth. Yet my heart denied the sparkle in my eyes for the glorious landscape and rejected the excitement in my mind for the wonders of our spectacular planet. Two years ago this day, I kissed the freckled face of my Mackenzie for the last time, and my heart has never been the same. Today, my body was in the Black Hills, but my heart was as far away from there as my lost girl is now from me, and a great day was tinged with sadness.
I struggle each day to find joy and beauty in life, and this western journey, this overdue and necessary vacation, has provided an abundance of both. Unfortunately, however, even the magical splendor of the Black Hills cannot completely restore my spirit. While my senses experienced the natural wonders around me, and as I enjoyed the cool wind on my face and delighted in the glittering sunlight reflecting off the haunting tower of stone and across the endless valleys, I was lost in myself. All the day, my tears were just below the surface of my joy in the landscape.
This state of discord is a common one in my new life, and I understand its challenges. To balance extreme joy and extreme sadness is a mighty task, and today my efforts were insufficient. Mack’s spirit was with me, as it always is, but it could not reach my aching heart. The wind blowing through the ponderosa pines intensified my longing for her presence on this beautiful earth, in this spectacular landscape she will never see. In the shadows of the ancients rocks, I saw the shadows cast upon me. My eyes could see the enchanting environment around me. My mind could appreciate the awesome power of the planet to render me speechless. But my heart was an unwilling traveler.
It was a good day. It was a bad day. It was a day in which I felt the weight of my sorrows juxtaposed with all of the beauty of the world. It was another day in my life without Mack.