Saturday, October 30, 2010

Reflections by Keith at One Year

Exactly one year ago today---on October 30th, 2009---we woke up in our rig after spending the night in our friend David's driveway, said goodbye and began a journey whose length and breadth we could not predict. Having sold our house and most of our things, quit our jobs, and made the radical decision to hit the open road in search of intentional community and (excellent) adventure, we left our beloved New England for points unknown.

Not several weeks after our departure, our aforementioned friend David took his own life, and an unplanned return to Massachusetts for his funeral threw a temporary wrench into our travels---and our hearts---as we processed the grief and loss that his passing engendered.

Recovering from David's sudden and unexpected death, we continued our descent down the East Coast, visiting friends, family, and intentional communities whose missions or values spoke to us.

For me, this East Coast sojourn was like a long goodbye after 45 years of living along the Atlantic, and my heart continued to open to the West once we took that right-hand turn in northern Florida. We meandered through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, and there were BBQ's, communities, serendipitous meetings, Laughter Yoga, camping adventures, and all sorts of events along the way.

It was a wild ride, and I must honestly share that even though we were very road weary and ready for a break once we returned to New Mexico following our visit to the Grand Canyon for Mothers' Day weekend, the transition to a place-based life was indeed difficult for me. After so many miles and so much forward momentum, our screeching halt in Santa Fe---although necessary on many fronts---gave me pause as well as a short-term bout of depression.

Now, after five months living at The Commons on the Alameda Cohousing Community and making the most of life in Santa Fe, I see clearly how we all needed this break, and that living only 90 miles from our beloved son and daughter-in-law is sweet and lovely.

We left Western Massachusetts in search of community, with a deep desire for a sense of belonging and sustainable living. Here at The Commons we have fulfilled that longing, and we have immersed ourselves headlong into the life of the community, making the most of our time. We honestly have no idea how long we will stay at The Commons or in Santa Fe, and while we would like to find our "forever home", I'm not convinced that that concept truly applies to us.

One year ago, we took a giant leap of faith into the void, with eight wheels between us and the road that opened up before and beneath us. That road has treated us well, and even though we're now in one place (for however long it lasts), my "traveler's mind" is active, intact, and still brimming with curiosity. Although I love many things about where we are and who we're with, I still feel like I'm traveling, and those 10,000 miles have not really assuaged my itch to further explore the world around us.

There's no predicting where we'll be in another year, but I have no doubt that it will be rich with community, adventure, beauty, and possibility.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Keith and Mary,

    I have wondered about you two, and this morning have both a computer that works and place to sit comfortably. How wonderful to read of your landing place. I understand what you mean, I think, that a 'forever' home may not apply. Perhaps that is true for many of us.

    New Mexico is beautiful. We spent time there early in our journey of discovering what in the world was happening. We were in San Fidel ... my first time in such high places coming from the Islands in the Pacific.

    I wish you all the best, knowing what a spiral it is to sort through the symptoms and illness. We are in a place, too. Rooting slowly in the Pacific Northwest with community that feels like home, mostly.