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Longing.

Far northern California reminds me so much of rural Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  Vast expanses of rocky, rolling mountains covered in the green of spring- the neon of new grasses, bright yellows and purples of the first wildflowers, budding trees and fresh leaves, and the ever-present anchor of the evergreens as far as the eye can see.  As we drive to Klamath, CA- just south of the Oregon border on the Pacific coast, I find myself feeling a bit of longing for the familiarity of the east coast.  This hasn’t happened since we’ve been on the road- at least not at a time when we couldn’t change our plans and quell our desire to be… wherever.  But right now we have solid plans- the Life is Good Conference at the end of the month, friends who have become family awaiting us in British Columbia, Tough Mudder at the end of June, and an Alaskan Cruise/RV to Denali National Park in July.  Not a bad lineup.

I haven’t ‘missed’ anything in a really long time.  It’s an uncomfortable feeling that calls me back to a focus on the present.  What is it about now that isn’t sitting right?  Why the longing?  Generally when I feel I need something – food, sugar, place, person – there is a void that I am not recognizing. 

Lately I have been noticing recurring thoughts of the future.  What will the next adventure be?  How long will we RV?  Will we go abroad?  How?  For how long?  Will the kids decide, at some point, that they want to be stationary?  Will Chris or I?  What if I never fulfill my dream of farming?  Is this a real dream or a romanticized one?  If we did settle down, where would it be?  Is traveling going to continue to be financially feasible?  Would settling down end up being more expensive?

When I look at the questions in print, I recognize fear.  Fear of the future.  Fear of the unknown.  It’s familiar and familiar feels good no matter how bad it feels…  But I know I don’t have the answers.  And I don’t need them.  I am brilliantly happy with my life.  Maybe that’s where the questioning comes in.  A deep breath waiting for the other shoe to drop?  And yet I’m here because of choices made with a focus on living in the present moment rather than the more common sacrificial perspective in which we spend most of our lives waiting, saving, and planning for moments too short or that may never come at all.  The spotlight falls on… being open.  Seizing opportunities.  Staying still when it feels right.  Moving, seeing, doing when we want.  Honoring the changes in ourselves and each other.  Recognizing that we create our lives and choice creates empowered joy.  We always have a choice.

safe haven

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in California, RV, Travel log

 

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Celebrate Every Day

“Where did you get your face painted?” “What carnival did you go to?” “Where is the party?” Sadie gets these questions routinely as we stroll about town, through museums, and play at parks with her elaborately painted face.  She forgets that her face is painted most of the time and returns the questions with a quizzical look and going on about her business.  The other children stare in awe, asking their parents to take them to the place where Sadie has been so they, too, can have the special feeling that comes with being decorated.

Where has Sadie been?  At home.  It is something that she enjoys – to investigate new designs and pictures – and something that I enjoy – to try to recreate this art on her body and to her exact specifications.  There is no occasion special enough to hold off on things that we enjoy and are passionate about.  There is nothing that we cannot do ourselves given the time, energy, and determination. 

I was supremely awful at this in the beginning but, being so important to Sadie, was determined to continue trying – working up from simple, small designs to entire face creations.  We have several books that we work from and occasionally take new ones out from the library.  It takes time to complete each design as we are both perfectionists but we love to sit together and create.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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On Trying….

A post about homeschool ice skating came across my computer from one of my local yahoogroups. There are a great many opportunities for homeschoolers in this area because of the vast numbers. When it suits us, we lump our unschooling, slightly wild looking selves in with the more conservative crews for some adventures.  I put this opportunity out to the kids and there was a resounding cheer for trying out ice skating (I was shocked; they had been terrified of this in years past). 

Upon arrival, Elijah baled.  This is not uncommon for him.  It used to be that I would feel compelled to work on convincing him to ‘at least try’ things- you name it.  This impulse is long gone but inevitably these types of situations end with me feeling torn between the child on the ice (or wherever) and the tentative watcher on the sidelines (who, in my mind, would have much more fun participating).  This day worked out great because we had company.  I gave him $5 to go out to the mall with my mom to get a snack and hang out while Sadie skated.  Everybody wins.  He was so thrilled.  Sadie took the experience helmet-on true to form and- after spending a lot of time on her rear end- started getting a groove.  After about 30 minutes, Elijah returned with a huge grin and some change from his cookie.  He watched the other kids for a few minutes and then requested that I rent him some skates to try! 

Here he is!  Had I convinced, cajoled or forced this experience, it would have been miserable for both of us.  It was such a sweet triumph for me to stand by his side while he put his all into a new experience that had thus far been daunting.  He was so proud of himself and has requested to continue skating.  The boy who hates long car rides now rides an hour each way once a week to continue his newfound love of ice skating.  He’s not graceful but he’s persistent (and happy!).

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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