We left while the raven sky remained deep with concluding dreams across the city. Stirring slumbers fought eyes reminding spirits to open to another day, while desires kept them comforted in the celestial oath of how things could be.

He picked me up inside this creeping sneak of dawn, top down – red leather interior welcoming my wandering feet. With no destination other than ‘west’ we left commitment behind and careened beyond the demand of ‘lunch after twos’ and ‘so much to dos’.

My sprawled fingered hand stretched to a wide ten count at the end of extended arms, scratched wrists. Wind through my fingers felt like a race with time. It felt like we were winning.

Traffic lights and street lamps transformed to gum trees and jade shaded hills with mustard-tan patches where life used to be, before the drought. We found comfort in nature’s vulnerability, how delicate living can be.

We travelled far enough when the only sound left was an occasional lonely bird, the breeze moving through resilient branches that knew how to cope with hostile conditions. Plants living in peace with no alternative of speeding away from what perceivably harmed them – what hurt.

In a rare patch of shade, in the middle of a field, we bit off the tips of freshly picked strawberries and treated our tongues to shocks of sweet juice. We had stain-lipped conversations of all the ways things were different here, he picked me a bouquet of yellow wild flowers and said no matter what, some things we had to promise to never lose sight of – like life in the desert. Existence outside…

Silence washed us the way we hoped and our hushed minds began moving in their natural directions – contemplating how to take this place back to the land of artificial survival; thinking of new ways to say

‘I’m sorry.’

Each inhalation of the cool breeze that made shadows dance across our grassy mattress called me deeper to this place, past pay-checks and train-wrecks of life tainted by dollar figures, mangled with media – a self-righteous voyage filled with feel good – eaten by ego.

The initial freedom of the ride that brought us here seemed suddenly restricting, even with no roof.

Not because of what it appeared to represent – motion in one of its finest forms, it was because of where it was going to take me… back.

I didn’t want to go back, and I wasn’t interested in moving forward. I pulled out my hair-band and welcomed the volatile atmosphere between thankful locks. I hugged my companion goodbye and told him I wasn’t leaving.

And so with no conception of where I was, where I was going, how I would get there, or how long it would take. My trip finally ended.

… the journey began.