Monday, March 14, 2011


Happy camper Tracy Lukk taking a hiking break 3/10/11.
Photos by Mike Lukk, The Woodlands, TX.
"If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another." ~Dalai Lama

For the past ten days I've been off the grid, cycling and hiking through the high desert country of southwest Texas with DH and four "ultra-milers' from The Woodlands. 
        While I was gone, nothing changed...but everything did. Life changed irrevocably for the country of Japan and the millions worldwide who life in earthquake zones.  None of us can read about an event of that magnitude without stopping in our tracks, taking stock and taking some action, from saying a prayer to making a donation (sources below). 
         At the moment the aftershocks were still resounding and the tsunami was yet to come I had found an oasis, mentally, physically and spiritually. We'd been hiking in the Chisos Mountains that day- just one section of Big Bend National Park - and had already climbed 2,000 feet to the plateau you see here where we stopped for lunch.  


The vista was breathtaking.
The climb had been rugged, the path rocky.  Mid-way, after hitting another section of switchbacks, my left hip started arguing loudly with me.  Go back!  Then my feet added in their two cents' worth.  Girl, this is your vacation!  Go back to bed!  But like the people of Japan, I had no idea what would come in the next moment.

And there she was right around the corner, without fear and largely disinterested in my aching feet and hips. Completely disinterested, in fact.

She stared.  We stared back.  In those warmed shared seconds I felt the extraordinary miracle of passing time.

Without moments of serenity -- the blessing of an unexpected oasis -- it's far too easy to lose your bearings.  Part of living with cancer or any chronic illness is training your mind to "replay" the unexpected oasis so it can feed you through the inevitable difficult days.  I'll now remember the quality of the air that morning, its clarity, and how the sun felt, almost directly overhead, as we stood motionless. 

Because the true oasis, as this was, is a rare event, like catching the eye of a hummingbird or being there, at the second the meteor makes it brilliant path in the night sky.  

I hope you have an oasis, too, that feeds your soul.



Anonymous said...

Wow! Jody, this post just blew me away - I felt as if I was watching a movie reading your words - you conjure up such amazingly real images. It is a wonderfully written reflection on the majestic beauty of life. Thanks for sharing this experience with us and the photos of such stunning scenery too. Oh and welcome back my dear..we missed you x

Jody said...

You're welcome as always. It was one of those experiences too good NOT to share. Thanks for reading,

Unknown said...

I've hiked that path more than once, and I know how challenging it can be. Safe travel, my friend.


Beth L. Gainer said...


Your posting was beautiful and put a lot of things into perspective. Thank you for sharing this wonderful adventure and its significance.

Debbie said...

Beautiful writing and photos. Thank you for sharing your oasis with us. I have been thinking about this exact thing today, especially as I read from the book, Peace is Every Step. It is so very important to have that oasis to draw on in times of uncertainty, fear, despair. So glad you were able to find this to keep in your toolbox.
Love, Deb

Jody said...

Miss you dollface:) Of course I thought of you (achingly so) as we traversed such beautiful country. Saw that you've been traveling. Please, let's catch up soon.
Love to you,

Nancy's Point said...

Jody, Thanks for sharing a piece of your vacation. I, too, found an oasis while recently on vacation. I love that term, oasis. I'll share mine at some point too. Nature's power is so "beyond" us. It can be so beautiful and healing on the one hand and yet, as in Japan, create pure utter chaos.

Amy said...

Thanks for the oasis wish. I try to make several in my daily life - the couch, in front of the wood stove, in a house all to myself, is my oasis right now.

Best wishes to you.

Jody said...


I know what you mean. I've always made an "oasis" for myself during different times throughout my life. It's the place -- sometimes tiny - where hope grows.

Thanks so much for your writing,

Ann said...

Love these pictures.

Ethan Harp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

What a wonderful post of an amazing trip Jody. Thank you for sharing it with us. I totally believe in the adage to find your oasis. I have a few myself. And in my minds eye when need be will traverse long distances to find the peace and serenity I found there. As a matter of fact I just recently added one to my arsenal this week. Having myself just returned from a lovely trip. So happy you have your lovely trip to remember.

Cynthia said...

What a beautiful moment you have given me. Thank you, Jody!