Goddesses in the Dust: Lost Opportunity or Travel Epiphany?

An archaeologist unearths the divine feminine, one archetype at a time...

Is there a goddess of disappointment? I tried looking it up, then realized it wasn't disappointment I was dealing with, it was actually liberation.

Introducing Tara, goddess of liberation.

I don't know about anyone else, but as a writer, I often find myself moving through foreign terrain with one eye on the experience and one eye on what I think about the experience.

Case in point. I was hoping to write a travel article about Portugal's largest national park. Located just at the Spanish border, we figured it would be an easy day's drive from our last stop of the trip.

Wrong. The day started with a loooong drive, up steep mountain roads and down, around countless switchbacks, getting lost and resorting to my poor French (I don't speak Portuguese) to find our way.

I was hoping to photograph a series of old stone granaries as well as visit megalithic dolmens (chamber tombs) dating from the third millennium B.C. At midday, I realized we were 80 kilometers of steep mountain road and a whole day's drive from my destination. Bad planning, yes. But in a moment of frustration, I felt a deep relief. Instead of keeping one eye on the job, I was free to enjoy the rest of the day with both eyes wide open and firmly on what was in front of me.

Like this (cow crossing!)

and this (I did get to see one granary!) 

and this (being serenaded by canaries during a lunch stop)

and these amazing views of Lake Canicada in the glacier formed region of northern Portugal's Peneda Geres national park.

Sometimes we aren't meant to do the thing we set out to do - the thing we thought we should do - we are meant to go in a different direction. We may not always exactly know which is which, but listening to one's gut is a start. So thank you, Tara, goddess of liberation. As a symbol of one's own inner wisdom, you point to the transformation of consciousness and the eternal journey towards freedom. We can all use your wisdom from time to time to keep us focused on the present moment.

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