Peace Six Hundred Miles Away
I am on a plane. I don’t know where I am going or who the people around me are. In confusion, I look around and try to comprehend to what is going on. As I look, I am attracted to the oceans glorious blue color that I spot through a passenger’s window. While looking out this window I hear a familiar voice echo and continuously get louder and louder. “Sergio get up! Sergio get up! Sergio get up!” It is my sister, and she had just woke me up from my pleasant dream. Normally, I would have told her to leave me alone and to get out of my room, but this was a special exception. Today was the day we were flying out of state to go visit my oldest sister in time for Thanksgiving. It was five a.m., and we had a scheduled flight three hours from now. So, after getting up from bed, I took a quick shower. I followed this shower by eating a delicious bowl of my favorite cereal, Honey Bunches of Oats. Then, after giving my dog and cat a big hug, I helped put the luggage in the car. The next thing I remembered was me waking up on our arrival to the airport terminals. After a tedious two hours spent checking in and waiting, I finally heard our planes number ready to descend. This was not my first time on a plane so once onboard; I put my seatbelt on, placed my seat further back, hugged my pillow and tried to get some rest. After a very short flight, we had arrived to our destination. Immediately, I felt the change of environment when I stepped off the plane. The air across my body felt denser, the sun’s dominate blaze could not compensate for the chill I was feeling, and the faint smell of farm animals had me puzzled. I had officially arrived to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I was now six hundred miles away from home and on my way to my sister’s house. On this car ride I was exposed to more than just the agony of sitting down for another two hours. I was in a painting and I was seeing nature like I never had before. Splashes of yellow, brown, and orange were evident across the desserts we passed by. The same glorious blue color from the ocean in my dream consumed the sky. The clouds engulfed by a dark red color further illustrated the warm feeling I felt. I was enjoying the simplicity of everyday nature overwhelm my mind. The same way Henry Thoreau expresses in, Where I lived, and What I Lived For, I understand him when he proclaims he wants to “suck out all the marrow of life,” and how he points out that, “life is frittered away by detail” (Thoreau, 404). Thoreau draws the metaphor that although life is complicated we worry about unnecessary things at times, but that we can found ourselves more content in enjoying the simple things life has to offer. In my case, I was able to find tranquility and fascination through the different display of nature I was exposed to. However, my enlightening experience in this unfamiliar part of the world did not end here, but instead continued later that night when a brighter set of lights dawned on me.
Upon arriving to my sister’s home, we all accompanied ourselves to the feast my sister had prepared for us. After much conversing and eating, my sister insisted we all spend the last of the night outside enjoying the warmth the fire pit provided. Sure enough, the fire from the pit soared and illuminated the backyard, but as this was going on I was intrigued by a different kind of light. Looking up at the midnight sky I saw something I had not seen before. What I saw were stars, hundreds of them scattered across the sky. Though I have seen stars before, I had not seen them in abundant numbers as I was now. Stars spread across the sky, like small lights shining on a stage. I starred at these stars and allowed my mind to embrace the infinite number of questions that emerged. Why are there so many stars? Why do they appear white? How far away are they? Why do so some stars appear to blink while others stay put? While I pondered on all of these questions interestingly enough, I found myself in a state of admiration and serenity. In Seeing by Annie Dillard, I relate to her when she says, “I reel in confusion; I don’t understand what I see. With the naked eye I can see two million light-years to the Andromeda galaxy” (Dillard, 121).The same perplexity that dwells Annie mind, was what I felt when I had seen the hundreds of stars above me. What I received from this experience was nature giving back through its most giving form, peace of mind and utter fascination.
I find these experiences of nature to be one of the most profound encounters I have had with it. Having been in a different part of the world and been able to enjoy the luxury of nature in a different perspective was the best token I received on my trip to New Mexico. Through Annie Dillard and Henry Thoreau word’s, they remind us to feel privileged for being able to see the wonders that we see and to free our minds and enjoy the simple offerings nature offers. N. Scott Momaday depicts her journey in The Way to Rainy Mountain, as “a landscape that is incomparable, a time that is gone forever, and the human spirit, which endures” (Momaday, 2). Leaving this new state I too felt the same way Momaday felt on her journey. The landscapes I saw were one of a kind, the amount of time I spent admiring the stars was worth every second, and it was my mind that endured the bliss I found in nature. In the end, although nature and I are two separate entities, I now feel more connected with it. With the glimpse of nature’s offering I experienced, I am now more than ever intrigued to explore what other wonders lay across this giant ball of nature we call Earth, and the wonders that lurk deeper within our galaxy.