Then there is that moment; after heading west out of Hicks Cut and south down the Old Natchez Trace trading route through lowlands and burial grounds, after crossing the Mississippi River and feeling her pull (there is something otherworldly about the longing in her stretch), after Austin and Dalton and laughing until my sides hurt (my brother Dalton, made of light), after miles of sunbathed West Texas highway and playing the Dixie Chick's Wide Open Spaces on repeat there is that moment... The oh damn, I am really alone right now moment. It is a sharp intake of breath in a canyon in northern Texas because I haven't seen this many stars since I was in Kentucky and I am almost certain I left a piece of my heart on Jellico Creek. It is a slow exhale under a waxing moon because I am entirely present in being alone and I am almost certain there is strength in solitude. It is weary tears along Route 66 into New Mexico because I am tired and my heart is remembering all its aches and I am almost certain that the desert is for healing because there is so much room to grieve. It is a warm sip of hot chocolate at a motel in Tucumcari because the kindness of strangers and a good night's rest and I am entirely certain I am not really alone because I carry everyone I have ever loved with me and also cellphones.