The Adventure Continues…

Listening To The Boys

by | Mar 20, 2019

“Self-love is being comfortable with yourself; a level of comfort that feels peaceful, calm and without worry of am I good enough, does anyone care or other thoughts of lack. There’s an unconditional respect of Self’s basic needs.”
– CK Kochis

On my way to pay for an additional three nights at Elephant Butte State Park, I viewed the lake out the driver’s side window and saw a sailboat with its white sails stretched by the light wind. It reminded me of the sailboat my father moored in Portage Lake when I was a young teen.

I parked the truck in the group picnic area overlooking the lake and watched the sailboat for a few minutes. The lyrics, “Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be. Just a dream and the wind to carry me. And soon I will be free…” by Christopher Cross spewed out of my memory banks and into the moment. Every time I hear that song I am taken back to sailing on daddy’s boat.

I could feel my father sitting in the passenger seat. He said, “It’s going to be okay. You’re doing fine.” You see, a short time before I drove away from my home on wheels, I’d been thinking of my father and both of my sons. I miss my family. My heart welled up with tears as I heard my father’s voice and my eyes leaked down my cheeks. I heard Jeremiah, my oldest son who’s deceased, say, “You’ve come a long way, Baby,” in a humorous tone of endearment.

If I was to keep any kind of composure, I knew I had to put the truck in drive and change the scenery. I drove to the visitor booth and spoke with one of the volunteers about extending my stay. She asked what site I was parked and I told her the site number. She got a puzzled look on her face, asked herself, “Twenty-five? Where’s twenty-five?”

Before I could answer her, it dawned on her where I was at and made the same goofy hand jester my youngest son used to do when he was a teenager. I roared with laughter unable to stop the tears.

The look on her face was priceless, as if afraid she’d offended me. I felt I owed her an explanation for my spontaneous reaction. I generically shared with her the sailboat story, how it reminded me of my father and Jeremiah, and her hand jester brought everything full circle to include my youngest son.

The next day I drove into the mountain range between Kingston and San Lorenzo with the curiosity of a school girl. I’d been avoiding the snow like the plaque on this trip, but for some odd reason I wanted to travel the roads leading through the nearby snow covered mountain.

The hair pin corners on the edge of nothingness motivated this gal to go slower than the posted 15 mph caution sign on several of the turns. The speed limit for this mountain range portion of Highway 152 was 35 mph and I had no intentions of pushing my truck to see how fast it’d climb, descend and corner. As I’ve heard several people say around the mountainous areas, “You need your wits about ya when drivin’ them hills.”

I was ready for a break from driving when I came across the Gila National Forest Vista Point – Emory Pass. The vista views were breathtaking. Several cars were in the parking lot when I arrived. A gentleman prepped his camera gear before starting down one of the trails from the parking lot. A young couple took a few snapshots with their cellphones. Me, I took in a deep breath and exhaled. Several moments later the young couple departed and I was alone on the mountaintop perch.

Looking out over the mountain range, I heard the wise words I’d heard at the Gila Cliff Dwellings – love is simple. The sound of a vehicle accelerating in the distance broke the silence of nature and brought me back to my surroundings. I don’t know where I went for brief moment, but it was heavenly. A sense of peace embraced every fiber of my being.

At the stop sign, I turned right instead of left (to return back to camp). Something inspired me to continue my journey through to the other side. I did not have cell service and the map didn’t display any of the National Park points of interest. I had no way of knowing how far I’d traveled or what remained of the journey. I simply knew my curiosity was leading the way.

I rounded one corner and was immediately surrounded by tall, steep rock walls with a river far below to my left. This. This is what I had to see, smell and feel (and thankfully, not touch). I could feel the ancestors standing in the higher elevations of the narrow passage looking down on me, my truck and my journey. I exhaled.  

On the other side of the mountain range, I saw a directional sight for a small town I’d read about in a brochure and thought it would be fun to visit. I decided to stop on my way back from wherever I was going. And then, WHAM! It was time to turn around. The desire to see what’s next evaporated and I was gifted a wide driveway to make a u-turn. Following my intuition, I didn’t hesitate to switch the driving direction and followed the same stretch of highway through the mountains. As I drove past the first 35 mph sign on my ascent up the mountain, I realized I missed the turn off for the small town I wanted to tour.

I wondered, how could I miss that road? I was actively looking for it!

Dad whispered into the cab of the truck, “You didn’t want to go there. You’re going to miss your grandson’s call soon. Time to head home to call Konner back.”

Captured moments along the way…

Sailboat on Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico.
The Doc is in.
Gila National Forest Vista Point - Emory Pass, New Mexico.
Gila National Forest Vista Point - Emory Pass - Silver Fire 2013.

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To Write. To Travel. To Explore.

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About The Author

C.K. Kochis

I am a writer; it's what I do. My mission in life is to guide women exhausted from nurturing others and the stagnation of daily routines to ignite self-love through the power of their words. I am utilizing my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach education as the foundation of to create a platform for coaches and leaders to share pearls of wisdom and professional insights. I wrote, designed and published “Get A Compass Not A Clock” and “UnLeash Your Story: A Journal Writer's Guidebook”. My virtual assistant clients keep me creatively busy, while my grandsons teach me about the importance of play.


  1. Vatsala Shukla

    Did you make it ‘home’ back in time for Konner’s call or did you have to return the call, Cindy?

    Sometimes taking a different route makes the biggest difference to us and our experiences. I can imagine the solace you found among the tall trees and yes, your loved ones are still keeping an eye out for you.

    • C.K. Kochis

      Like dad said, I missed my grandson’s call. I called him back once I had cell service on my way back to home. It was a peaceful drive with moments of white knuckling the steering wheel around some of the corners. There’s no guardrails and the shoulder is maybe the width of a tire and the drop from the ledge is significant (like, they wouldn’t be able to recover the vehicle).

  2. andrea

    I am delighted to read about the moments of peace that are coming your way. Sending lots of love.

    • C.K. Kochis

      Thank you, Andrea.

  3. Rachel

    Ahh, I love how this journey sharpens your intuition and communication with all that’s around you. It might look like an external journey but it very much an internal one. I am glad you are finding peace, delight and wonder as your companions.

    • C.K. Kochis

      I love it – It might look like an external journey but it very much an internal one. Yes. Yes, it is. Thanks, Rachel.

  4. Lore (like "story") Raymond

    So identified with this, “As I drove past the first 35 mph sign on my ascent up the mountain, I realized I missed the turn off for the small town I wanted to tour.”
    Your story shines with several pearls of wisdom, but the one to listen to your inner guidance, your dad’s voice, intuition–whatever–rings true and reminds me to do the same, Cindy.

    Where to next and for how long…or do you know?

    • C.K. Kochis

      Thank you for your kind words, Lore. I never know where I’m going or for how long. I simply follow my intuition.

  5. Barbara Parcells

    My Mom has been gone since 2002, my dad since 1991, and there are still times when a sight, a sound, or a memory will trigger the tears. Gee, I still tear up when I think of the three cats I had that crossed the sweet rainbow bridge years ago. That’s when I get quiet and talk to them in my heart. To this day, I still hear my mother calling out loudly “BARBARA” when I am about to do something or go somewhere I shouldn’t. I may not have always listened to her when I was younger, but I sure as heck listen to her now!

    • C.K. Kochis

      I’m sending you a virtual hug, Barb. Your story about your mom, dad and kitties warms my heart. What a blessing! Isn’t it funny the power our mother’s voice have on us?

  6. Suzie Cheel

    Cindy just loving you sharing your journey and that you are following your intuition, although I wonder what that small town was like 🙂 great self-love quote too

    • C.K. Kochis

      Thank you, Suzie. Glad you’re enjoying my journey and what I discover along the way.

  7. tara Sage

    What a beautiful story. And what a gift to be tuned in to your intuition so deeply, and to allow your curiosity to lead. That’s the best way to travel, in my opinion. Much love to you, kindred one!

    • C.K. Kochis

      I agree, Tara. It is the best way to travel. I know you and your sweetheart follow your curiosity as you wander our great nation enjoying this nomadic lifestyle. Thank you for your kind words. Safe travels…

  8. Ruthie Lewis

    One of my favorite things to do is follow someone’s journey through real time!! Thank you for sharing and I know it leads somewhere great. Honestly, I’m in a very similar place right now. I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I’m scared, angry and all excited all at the same time. xoxoxoxo

    • C.K. Kochis

      I’m wrapping you in a big sister hug right now, Ruthie. As my father told me, I’m extending to you, “It’s going to be okay. You’re doing fine.” Many blessings on what’s next for you.

  9. Heather

    Wonderful journey, love what you are getting out of it! Our intuition, ancestors, loved ones on the other side as well as our angels and so forth do guide us on this journey of life. Good to follow your instincts and enjoy!

    • C.K. Kochis

      Thank you, Heather. I appreciate your kindness and support.

  10. Kelley Grimes

    I love reading about your journey of self-love Cindy and the power of listening to your intuition. I am so grateful for your wisdom, insights, and inspiration and I am sending you a big hug!


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