I Dream Of Columbus
THIS MORNING AS I SAT SIPPING my coffee and pondering my next step, I noticed a gentleman who was wearing a T-shirt that said, “Canyonlands – Moab, Utah.”
When I stumbled up to get a refill I stopped by his table and we chatted about that remarkable part of the country. As we spoke I saw the sparks light up in his eyes. He was like me – a man who breathes better on the road.
As a child my favorite books were those that told me stories of far off places and people. I would spend hours with the World Atlas in my lap, making my own mental maps of travels yet to be.
The roads of red and blue ink on the page weren’t there as an escape from anything or anywhere, but rather as the way for me to get to where I felt I needed to go. South America, Australia, and the deserts of Mongolia set my heart to racing with images of “Places Where You Can’t Go Any Farther.”
I would put maps on my bedroom wall instead of Rock Stars or Baseball Players. My dreams were about The Silk Road and The Outback and what it would be like to rub shoulders with the sons of Genghis Khan and the Aborigines at Ayers Rock.
How exciting it must have been to be on that first voyage with Columbus in 1492. To sail off, not really knowing where you were headed other than, “Out there.” To look at maps and charts decorated with warnings that, “Beyond here there be dragons.” The men who sailed with him must have been like me and that other man with the “Canyonlands” T-shirt. Sailing with the sparks of adventure and lingering childhood dreams still in their eyes.
I have been fortunate in my life. I have been able to set my sails and travel more than most people. I’ve never made it to Mongolia, but I have driven across this country and seen things both amazing and beautiful. I have visited Mexico and Canada, close to home, but still in the realm of “Out there.”
Dawn and I have been to Ireland several times and we both agree that if there is any other place on earth that makes us feel, “At home,” it is Ireland.
Ireland is the place to go when that sense of panic starts or your calendar is filled with too many and too much of everything. The forty shades of green and the thousands of years of History there can make it all feel right again.
I still like to spend a quiet time with an Atlas and make plans to go here and there after lunch. In my mind I’ve walked The Inca Trail while waiting for a train to pass by. A few minutes in the bookstore can take me to Paris, and just holding a book with ancient maps and charts can put me on the deck of the Santa Maria.
The link at the bottom of this posting is to the Irish singer, Mary Black, performing a song that I find both haunting and completely understandable. It is called, “Columbus.”