My Soul Unzipped

In June of 2016, Carol's, safe predictable life was uprooted. The red Toyota BOXRRAV loaded with a couple of suitcases, a few plants, some bonsai tools, and her white boxer Spud, headed east toward the Land of Enchantment.

In 2006, she began documenting the journey of finding her Nana and the subsequent cleanup of the cemetery at the State Mental Hospital in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Maybe, this crazy God-adventure was initiated then. If it was, she certainly didn't feel it. In fact, it only served to remind her of the sadness that she had kept hidden in the recesses of her mind. She loved the vast expanses of open landscape, the blue skies with white clouds unlike anywhere else she had ever been. Cactus, pinion trees, rugged mountain ranges, and glorious sunrises and sunsets had been blotted out by memories of family struggles and loss. But as Nana slowly made her way back home, so did Carol. She was being called not out of the desert but back to the desert. In probably the most unlikely twist since deliberately choosing God as her partner, he was making straight the path to return home, shepherding her soul back to New Mexico.

This is a tale of second chances—of following one's heart. It is a story of paradox and contradiction, of mountain peaks and valley floors, of sadness and rejoicing. But most of all, it is the story of a soul set free.

--Carol Wawrychuk

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