[Written on 11th October, 2015]
Thursday the 8th of October marked the beginning of our 8th week on the road. Next Tuesday the 13th will mark two calendar months. That will be one third of our trip down and it’s very difficult to describe what all has transpired, what has changed in us and in our vision and what our expectations are for the future.
We are en route to our next WWOOFing assignment at Sweet Relief Farm having taken two weeks and four days off in Maine. That time was filled with meeting people, attending Common Ground, dealing with quite a lot of illness (I’ve been battling my cold for 10 days now). So it was not just sitting about idly. The break has been most welcome, and it has been used to the fullest extent. And so we move on.
Maine has been absolutely wonderful. It’s been the first place that has really felt like home to me on our journey. Unfortunately when one wants to grow one’s own food it’s prudent to live where the winters do not last six months. So we’re left in the balance of feeling like a place could be home, but might not be a good choice from a practical standpoint.
While we’re sure the goals we have are the right ones, the daunting nature of what lies ahead is ever present. How does one find the area we want to call home? To say nothing of buying land, making a home plan, getting official approval as needed, building that successfully, then planning, constructing and launching the first growing season on our future micro farm… It would be easy to be discouraged when facing this challenge. I could just throw in the towel and find a way to get back in to the job market. Yet we’re sure we want to move forward, even thought we don’t know what that looks like beyond finishing this trip.
What awaits us after we get back to Boise? I haven’t the foggiest. But with one third of the trip down and two thirds of it to go, I’m sure we’ll have a more clear notion once we actually get back. It’s not easy living in limbo. Life on the road is life by a plan; and the plan frequently fails. We couldn’t make it to Jamaica Cottage. We didn’t get to meet with the local homesteaders and farmers here. We won’t make it to Daufuskie Island. The chances of meeting the Tiny House community in Ashland vanishing. Trying not to succumb to discouragement can be a challenge. Yet what else can one do but try to move forward in spite of the “suboptimalities?”
Yet there is so much coming up and I’m very excited! The next few days should not only yield good insights while working on the farm, the evenings should allow for time to plan the next leg of our journey: to Walden Pond, to Provincetown, and to Washington DC. There is no doubt that those are remarkable places that – even if they do not provide illumination to our future – can provide context for our here-and-now.
As Steinbeck said in Travels with Charley “We do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
AFTERWORD – 18th October, 2015 – Continuing on the idea of things not keeping with expectations, I am publishing this one week after having written it (after the entire herculean experience of the last WWOOFing experience behind us, but that’s another story). I expected to have internet access at the Sweet Relief Farm, but I didn’t. Therefore I was never able to edit this journal entry and post it until now. And all that planning for the next few stops that I was supposed to have done? I never had a chance to do it and now we have to hit the road Tuesday morning.
So much has happened since the previous entry was written. I only hope our travels will leave us with enough internet access and free time to write about all that is transpiring! More to come, stay tuned.