For Erik and Katie: A Meditation on Change

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Erik, Katie and Griz      Nov 2017

This post is for our Nephew Eric and his girlfriend Katie who are embarking on a lifetime adventure in a little blue tiny  house. We wish them godspeed on their unique and creative journey as they travel about living life with awareness, compassion and enthusiasm for all the natural world.

I awoke this morning washed by a wave of ambiguity about our decision to sell our home and RV full-time.  We are coming off  a long three days weekend of Open Houses where we welcomed a parade of strangers through the front door.  The stream  of potential buyers wandered through these rooms where we have lived, laughed and cried and accepted life’s ups and downs, all the while nestled into a loving community of friends and neighbors. We were married in the little front garden. We said good-bye to two beloved pets in this house. We celebrated holidays and birthdays with friends and family gathered in love and acceptance in this place. This house is filled with the echo of love and laughter. The house is quiet now, comfortable clutter put away for staging and family photos packed for storage. With the dawn of Monday morning, I have mixed emotions about leaving this safe haven. It is not at all doubt about our decision to sell the house, but it is definitely mixed feelings. 

It’s been nearly twenty years since I re-homed myself to Florida and I don’t regret a single day. What a wonderful State Florida is with its exotic plants and wildlife all around us not to mention clear turquoise waters within any days drive. And what a pleasant place my lanai is to be on a day like this with the cool breeze and the aroma of Meyer’s lemons drifting in the window. 

 

It is in the quiet hours of the morning that I wonder how I could choose to move into the next season of life and leave behind the comfort of people and places here that are dear to me. It brings up questions that are good to ask. Why do some of us spend our whole lives trying to discern where we belong? Which fork in the road makes sense to us? If we take the other fork, would we discover where we end and the rest of the world starts? Choices at our stage of life can elicit a strange  mix of emotions.  As soon to be full-time RV’ers, we will be carrying our fragile selves about on wheels on a pilgrimage without a designated end date. Where will we belong? I am not often one to fret about the future, but I do admit to a few sleepless nights lately.

I’ve had these doubts before at critical junctures in life. During these times of anxious transition,  the remedy for me  is to quietly remember that there is goodness everywhere we have ever  lived or traveled. We encounter folks everywhere, who, by their very willingness to accept change and follow their heart down the road serve as an example that we really need not walk alone. Chance Encounters that bloom into friendships await at every bend.

Life is, after all, a meditation on loneliness. It causes us to explore the meaning of solidarity with whatever community we come into contact with and to seek and find that one special community with a capacity for love. The potential to be lonely as we leave our comfort zone community compels us to put out feelers  for little expressions that might indicate the potential for building new connections and friendships. As we travel and look for a future place to settle again, we will be on the lookout for those signs that an armature is in place where we can sculpt a new life rich with friendship and community. A new life where we can meditate  on life’s inevitable  lonely  periods within a caring circle.

During life transitions such as this, we are at risk of actualizing our all too human tendency to project onto the unknown our innermost fears. Will this challenge be too big? Are we too old? Are we foolish to give up a business that we enjoyed? Are we wise to be leaving behind  the security of a house that is paid for, a community that is familiar and secure, medical care that is reliable? Will we mourn the routes, routines, habits, and rituals that are unconsciously embedded into our daily lives?

Yes, change and transition sparks a questioning within our souls. But I have forever been burdened (or blessed) by an unrelenting  curiosity that translates easily into Wanderlust; a compelling desire to move about and experience the world from many perspectives. So, despite my habitual and human resistance to shedding comfort for the unknown, I am going to remember why I chose the fork in the road that leads to the potential for self-transcendence because it demands that I stretch and grow. I resolve this morning, as the sun comes up and the coffee enters my bloodstream to get a grip on it and embrace this new habit of heart that is mobile and exciting and soul opening.

I am about to put my sweater on backwards, or more likely since we will be camping, my sweatshirt on inside out. I will welcome the gift of opportunity to change it up and make life new again. I resolve to think and talk about what is to shortly to come with a novel vocabulary of being.  I will use a vocabulary that defines house and home differently. I will think about community more as the sweetness of meeting and not the sorrow of separation. I will welcome the walk somewhere new and experience fully and with gratitude all of the joy or bitterness as may come to be.

And so, we will continue to pack the boxes and do Open Houses as we work towards the inevitably time when we pull the camper out to depart for other places where we can listen to the heartbeat of stones and feel the forest beating its wings and see the color of the wind against a painted sky. Here we go turning the world upside down and inside out and backwards forward! And it is going to be good, Erik and Katie.

 

2 thoughts on “For Erik and Katie: A Meditation on Change

  1. I am in awe of your adventurous spirit-I know it wouldn’t be for me. But I wish you godspeed and well wishes. If you ever want to check in at Whitey’s Fish Camp, you can visit me for a while. Love, Alice

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  2. Great idea, Alice! It has long been my hearts desire to park my rig at Whitey’s Fish Camp and hang out and make some memories with a bunch of drunken, smelly old fishermen for a couple of months. I’ll call now and see if we could get a campsite right next to the exhaust fan where the restaurant fries catfish day and night. I would be fun to be close to you so you could put Bad Ethyl on a leash and walk over for a campfire and a whiskey shot whenever you want.

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