A year ago I took the first ‘no return’ step to engage a different possibility of daily life. That transit journey, and even the transitioning few days before, were challenging. Fitting my life/support/precious objects into two bags and clearing my room for a stranger to live in while I would be away. Planning transit while balancing time/comfort/curiosity/money/beauty/connection on the two day journey.
A year ago I walked out of the door with stage fright and anticipation settled sweetly into numbness; I was executing confidently the script we had planned. And then not 10 minutes later, as I sat on the bus and smiled, that script crashed around me – I was two hours late in getting on a bus.
Here I was, in motion – on A path towards my destination and expansion. Here I was, starting, and immediately challenged. My plans, the script, completely dashed and needing to be changed. A new numbness, a new terror, rose. Phone calls, internet, friendly people, trust, and support did lead me onward and did get me there. Several times though, I felt it was too much. I wanted to turn around, collapse under my bags, cry out. I hit my head – I did cry out. A nice man smiled and we exchanged hellos. I was yelled at and shooed away for trying to enjoy my breakfast on some grass. I thought someone would steal my bag. I rushed down sidewalks thinking I would miss the next bus, the next ferry. I thought another bus was re-routed by construction and wouldn’t drop us off. Fears, overwhelm. Then dropping back and getting information and resource.
I am so grateful for the research I had done in the past, the options I knew existed. Grateful for welcoming arms that accepted me when I was scared and alone in a new place. For moments of pause, including connection with other travelers. For the encouragement and support – the naming of resistance – to help me settle and focus and trust the unfolding. For the individuals I updated and who tracked me through the unfolding. For the company that knew the final stretch, and followed my changing plans. That shared apples and plums with me. We were the last two onto the full ferry to our final destination. We arrived with a box of bananas balanced on the overflowing car.
A year ago I returned to the woods. I explored the woods to know my new place. I selected a patch of mossy forest floor to hold me and my tent as a home for two months. To contribute I asked questions and found (or was given) tasks: dishes, sweeping, deconstructing. I met new people and we tried to figure each other out. I followed the new people to strange new community resources. I confirmed who I had been, and poked my head out of a new shell to discover who I might be. Holding boundaries, letting some go, shifting others.
And I began to Dance.
I found people who were not needed, and yet were integral to my life.
thank you, to all of you whom I intersected in that time –
for 5 minutes, for weeks.