Chronicles of a Grounded Nomad: Just like that, we’re “off the road”…
Life has been taking me on a ride. Not the roller coaster variety where the twists and turns leave you nauseated and thrown around, clenching and screaming, wobbly legged and spinning when it’s over. So that’s good.
This is more of a balloon ride. Lifting off the earth, and back down again, but in a soft and fluid motion. Because this is what it’s like when you move with the nature of the world. When you surrender.
I’ve had more peaks and valleys than I can count. More scenes to see that I can recall. There have been times when I thought for sure this one or that was It. It would be the one that popped our balloon or took us over the mountain or settled us back to the ground but each and every time the clouds would smile crookedly and the wind would chuckle and twist us ’round to a new direction, a whole new scene.
This has been Life teaching me surrender.
Teaching me to loosen up my grasp and just allow myself to float, allow the dips and swings to realign me and shake me from my sentry post and just let go. Show me that there is no such thing as gravity when I’m not in a death grip with the thing trying to catapult me to the ground.
Soft and gentle. This is Surrender.
It takes my second guessing and my worry and my deeply seeded desire to navigate the winds, and it wraps a sense of peace around me. So that everything is still there, snugly wrapped as well; I’m just warmer and cushioned from the harshness of the wind.
Three years of being a stay-at-home dad and six weeks of looking for a position (that felt more like 47), Justin took a job.
He’ll be a foreman again, dusting off his tools that we’ve so carefully lugged from state to state, and building with his hands once more. He’s leading crews and relishing in that sense of pride that comes when your employer is as excited to have found you as you are to have found him. (I mean, they even share a love for the Packers! Annie, can you believe the luck?!)
He’ll be on overtime and coming home fulfilled and tired. And our life will be transitioning to find that sweet spot where his dreams are nurtured right alongside mine, right alongside Zeb’s (who is dreaming of jujitsu), because we’re not quite sure how we’ll get the errands run and the dinner made and the work done with all of us suddenly going and no one full-time at the helm of this ship.
But more so, I’m not quite sure how it’ll be, being Floridians for awhile.
Freeport, Florida, in the panhandle.
This will be our home for the foreseeable future. Not forever, I don’t think, but for awhile.
When we drove up we knew it as home. It breathed us in and we breathed it in, and we heard our exhales say hello to one another and our roots start reaching down.
There is an eager and kind old man who laughs from behind the wheel of his golf cart and shares with openness the pros and cons of this special little RV spot that will be our own. And we like that in our landlords.
There a lazy, sprawling river with fingers inching in every direction and kayaks waiting by the shore. There’s talk of crocodiles but only with reassurances that they’re friendly.
There are trees. Big and loping ones. The kind that look as though they may lumber around at night, and cast ghostly shadows with their robes and play tricks on where you left your bike.
There’s a place for my furry kid to run and play freely, and for my hairy kid to swim and watch TV with friends. We’re not too sure who our neighbors will be or if there will be young blood to ride bikes with, but a jujitsu class might solve that problem.
There’s space and time and stillness to delve into my work and my self-care and find a rhythm to our days that doesn’t include a twice-monthly uprooting and relocating.
There’s a calm that is longed for after such a grand adventure as ours has been.
But more than anything, there’s a door opening, asking me to step through.
And it feels right. It feels welcoming and safe.
And none of that means my heart is not aching. For all changes have their melancholy, I’m remembering, even the longed for ones. And I’m doing again as Anatole said I’d do, as I’ve always done: I’m dying a little to my old life to step into this place between lives….between our life on the road and our Someday Home, full of chickens and gardens and yurts for gathering.
This is where Life is showing me – slowly and gently – what it will be like to step through that bigger door that’s coming down the road.
And there’s always a sadness to these things for me, when I throw my arms around the neck of that one I’ve loved, will always love, not knowing if time and fate will bring us together again. Not knowing if age or circumstance will take away my friend and if this will be my last goodbye.
I’ve never been bad at goodbyes but they are getting harder, especially when the goodbye seems like it’s to a part of myself. Maybe it is only the jaded view of years gone by that have changed me. I’m no longer so certain it will all pan out and that I won’t hurt a little when Life sticks its finger in the soup and changes the flavor of our expectations.
Cuz this For Now Home might only be for the summer, or it could be for a year or more. It is only meant to be a long-term place to stop our wheels, but it could someday mean a bricks-and-sticks house. Cuz Life could always throw in a dash of this and a dollop of that and I may or may not find myself a long term Floridian, growing up right next door to where my mama followed her first love out and had her second baby while her heart got broken by a soldier. (Life likes to take our stories full circle like that and lace together those crazy coinciding details we tend to call “coincidences”.)
And it all carries that vibe of coincidence. Where things fit together and you have a funny sense of déjà vu over somewhere you’ve never been and your heart is aching while your world is being thrown open with one major life event after another.
February and March 2013. I’ll be talking about these months with my grandchildren, or the neighbor kids who care to humor me, around a fire or a porch swing someday. I’ll be telling the story of how our world pivoted, and I’ll likely be stretching the details to captivate the antsier listeners. I can see it now, only I can’t hear the end of the story, the direction of the pivot just yet.
I can only hear that dual inhale and exhale, and that warm blanket that Life has wrapped around my shoulders to keep me from the coldness of the worry and heartache of goodbyes that likes to nip at the back of my neck these days, while it whispers Welcome Home. For now.
I wrote this last week, while I was deep in the process of surrendering to it all. It sounds a little forlorn because it was. It’s funny how much changes in a span of a week, how much excitement and readiness comes in when we give space to process the funk that rises up first (funk is so pushy!).
Now? Now I’m freaking excited!
My husband’s first day at his new job was today, and he text me how much fun he’s having and how over-the-moon he is and how amazed his crew and his boss are at his mad skillz, and it’s hard to feel unsure with excitement like that.
And in two weeks we’ll be moving to our For Now Home and I’ve got plans for a container garden (my own veggies again!) and talking to the RV resort about a community garden, and new curtains, something I’ve been putting off because I didn’t know how long we’d be in this RV.
My heart is so full of excitement for Ricki Lake (you can follow THAT adventure on Instagram this week!) and all the magic that is happening in Justin and all the potential of what’s to come. Yes, there are still uncertainties and I’m sure more funk will rise up. But I’m ready for that shit. Bring it on! ♥