Planning any trip is part of the fun! While in our heads, we are imagining a slow moving and pastoral version of the upcoming trip along The Crooked Road, the reality is that getting ready for this trip is anything but slow moving. In fact it’s a bit of a frenzy right now. I’m trying out new camping recipes and Arnie is pressure washing the house. We are getting all of the supplies for the animals collected and organized. And let’s not forget setting up this blog………….. for all of you out there’ who told me it would only take me 10 minutes to get it up and running, your confidence in me was sadly misplaced.
Still, we are enjoying the preparations. The spring cleaning is leaving us feeling freshened & spacious. there have been multiple trips to the library to drop off books and trips to the thrift shop to drop off professional clothing that we are trading in for more relaxed retirement garb. Closets are being reorganized and cupboards cleared. The garden has been weeded, pruned and fed. We are getting closer to a feeling of having some longed for order to our days; order that was impossible with busy work schedules. There will be a tipping point soon when we are more focused on planning for the trip and less on playing catch up on all the long neglected home-ownership chores.
If you are following along with me and reading The Wind in the Willows as an analogy for friendship and human emotion, I am thinking about how, in the first chapter, The River Bank, even Mole loses patience with spring cleaning. Even before his work is done, the good-natured fellow flees his underground home and pops into the fresh air above, beating a path down to the river. He’s never seen the river before and it’s here at the river that he meets his soon to be fast friend, Ratty. It is, with the beginning of this friendship that the wanderlust takes hold and the adventures begin. The two new friends begin to spend their days in and on the river, most of the time in a rowboat. They get along splendidly while Ratty instructs Mole in the ways of the Riverbank.
Soon Arnie and I will lose patience with our spring cleaning and preparations. We will be ready to lay down the brooms, the dusters, the ladders, the steps and chairs. Brushes and whitewash will be put away. We will be ready to take our aching backs and weary arms out into the light of day and ready to fling down the tools just like Mole did. We will say what he said: “Bother!”, and ” O, blow!” and also “Hang spring-cleaning!” and bolt out of our own little house for that something above that calls us too. Until then we will will continue our preparation, living with that spirit of divine discontent and longing that Grahame describes, all the while looking forward to symbolically rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow.
With Patience, Barb and Arnie