Friday, April 8, 2016

Last night (for a while) in New Mexico

All my stuff is packed into my small car back at the trailhead.  I moved out of housing this morning.  I hope my stuff stays safe while I’m out here.  Just one more night to watch the pink colors dance across Mt. Taylor from my perch above the lava.
Whenever I travel between new places, I carry my spare car key around my neck, until I get to my new place and can leave it with a neighbor.
My coworkers all say, “Aren’t you excited to be moving on?”  But I feel like I’ve only just found some secret trails that I want to explore, only just gotten a feel for the area, only just began to meet kindred spirits.
Climbing out to the tip of the rock formation they call Encerrito, for a view across the remarkably tree-covered lava towards Sandstone Bluffs and La Ventura Arch.
When I stopped at McDonalds to upload another blog post, a lady started talking to me.  “You’re not from around here are you?”  I get this all the time, no matter where I go.  Nope, I’m not really from anywhere.  As much as I come to love the places I get to stay at for a short while, I can’t call this place mine.  Will there ever be a time when I can feel like I’m from somewhere?
A minuscule legume I'd not seen before.
Textured resident lichen.
 I used to long for a home, for somewhere I will belong and be part of a community.  Like it felt like on the Trail.  Now, I think I’ve given up on the concept of home.
Except for maybe my hammock, which feels like the closest thing I have to a home anymore.
Watching the glowing sunset reflecting off Mt. Taylor from my hammock.
Lately, I have come to think of my relationship with place not as that of a resident, but rather as that of a guest.  If I work to adapt myself to a place, and dedicate myself to learning all I can from being there, I can stay for a while.  Maybe I will see something of its special nature.  But nothing belongs to me.  My presence is transitory.  Does anyone else feel this way?
A shadow passing through.


  1. I felt this way for many, many years. I moved every 6 months. Now, I don't know. I have a house here and I've been here for five years, but I still feel like I have one foot on the road. I don't know if I'll ever feel settled. Anyway, it'll be good to see you!

    1. This totally makes me wonder if I will be capiable of finding a home, even when I do settle down. Ah well, right now this is an interesting life. No complaints are anything.

      So excited to see you too! I'll let you know when I get my new schedule after our training this week.

  2. I think it's a bit like backpacking. You visit a place, travel through it, spend the night and say ah home, and then it's time to move on. So many places to visit and explore. I think in so many ways it's good for the soul to be open to exploration. Keeps you from taking life for granted and getting stuck. Keeps you just a bit on edge and outside your comfort zone.

    Having a home or at least a home base has its advantages, especially for just being able to rest without pondering tomorrow. For now, I'm enjoying my nomadic ways. I can tell it suits you also. Living in an area for a while is even better as you get a true taste of the culture and opportunities.

    1. Wise words, Jan. Yes, it does have that advantage of keeping you open and feeling alive, and keeping growing.

      I'm glad it's suiting you too right now. I think it's so cool that you have a home base though too. :)

  3. Once my biz is a bit more stable I'm going to join the nomadic life like you and Jan for a few years! Without being on a long trail the past 2 years, I've so missed seeing new places and new communities for a prolonged period of time. I tend to stay in my comfort zone at home...which is ok in chunks when I need it, but less so when I'm becoming complacent and feel stagnant. I want to be like Jan - have a small home base and be able to travel too!!

    1. The nomadic life does keep you challenged, stimulated, and constantly growing, which I appreciate. But I do find it stressful and my heart always seems to break whenever I leave places and people-- I get attached so fast. I keep thinking it's going to get easier to deal with change... but I just keep waiting and waiting, and it still stresses me out and drains me everytime I pack up my stuff into my car again and have to move.

      I agree that Jan has the best of both worlds, with having a home base. It sort of felt like I got a taste of what it might feel like to have a real home when I arrived back at my Montana park this time around-- I was welcomed back by co-workers and friends, and I could unpack my stuff into my little camper that felt totally familiar. I think the seasonal life is the way to go for me! I sure hope you find a way that works for you-- finding the life-balance is tough, but fascinating how many ways people find to make it work.