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White Sands National Park, NM

In some places, no words or pictures can capture the unique beauty in this universe.

The dunes landscapes in White Sands National Park are that place. How can I describe what my eyes see when my senses are full of movement? I am joyful when the sun emerges from her hiding place, and my canvas is painted with a shimmering ground beneath me.

I let the skies become my ground to frame the picture before me. The rolling dunes fold into each other in a soft play of movement. I don't know where it starts, or if there is even an ending to this story.

The wind I struggled with in the last few days is my beautiful paintbrush on this endless sand, creating stunning textures.

The colors here are another uplifting wonder. They present the perfect balance for whites. White is one of the challenging colors to work with due to the gentle undertones. However, there is no challenge here. It is just perfect!

Silence is not something you find here since a missile base is not far from here, and jet planes fly by. Be aware that if you plan to visit this park, you must ensure it is open. The road and the park are closed when there is missile testing.

I hike the Alkali Flat Trail and Dune Life Nature Trail. Both are good choices since they give a different feel to this landscape.

I do join a lovely couple in sledding down the dunes. We all transform back to our childhood with joyful energy. That was fun!

Sunset here is magic in itself. The duns take on a new look and feel as the sun disappears behind the San Andres Mountains. I can't resist and take off my hiking boots. The feel of the cool sand between my toes is a delight. Feeling my skin touch this magic land is a spiritual experience.

Today, I'm on a beautiful spiritual journey, where my spirituality holds various meanings. One is my connection with the people who enter my life.

Last year, at the end of my travel year, I stopped at a small campground in Wyoming as I was heading back home. It was almost dark by the time I got out of my car.

I wrote this last year: "I get out of my car and greet my neighbors Jan and Chuck. I always write as life unfolds for me. As I am writing right now, I get the sense meeting Jan and Chuck was meant to be. Jan and Chuck are from southern New Mexico. Chuck is a pastor. Unfortunately, we don't have much time to talk, but with the little we do, Chuck reminds me of the powerful importance of sharing our stories and how it can be a healing tool for someone else. Jan and Chuck invited me to come and visit them when I am back on the road again."

You might wonder why I felt it was meant to be, why meeting Chuck and having a brief conversation can mean so much to me.

Sharing my life with the world is not easy for me. It might look like it to you, the reader, but it is a constant inner struggle. So why do I do it? Honestly, I am not entirely sure, but from the beginning, it felt like an outside power telling me to do it. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous. So, I needed a sign when it came to sharing my deep, vulnerable post.

Because Chuck is a pastor, his words carried significant weight for me and gave me the last push I needed.

The post "I chose life" created waves and was a healing tool for many women. I still feel as I did last year: "For many months, I have debated whether I am strong enough to share the most vulnerable and dark time in my life. As I get closer to home, I understand it is in my integrity to do so."

I knew from the comments and the private messages I received that I had made the right choice in sharing my broken heart.

It was important for me to stop and visit Jan and Chuck. I wanted to thank them for being part of my life. I spent three days at their house, having the incredible privilege of getting to know them both.

We hike the Dripping Springs Trail at Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. What I love the most about this hike is the evidence of history decorating the route of the Van Patten Mountain Camp ruins, which was built in 1870.

When it is time to say goodbye, I feel like I am hugging old friends.

What next? Arizona!

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