i am not made to be a nomad.
two weeks ago i lived in lancaster,
this past week i lived in lake clear, new york.
last night i lived in wenham, massachusetts,
on tuesday i begin living in northern california,
wandering through the john muir trail,
sleeping wherever our hearts choose.
(after that i'll live in rockport, then lancaster, then wenham...)
like the avocados struggling to survive in my (temporary) window sill,
my heart is trying to grow roots.
after a really solid week in new york our little adventure family returned to gordon for a few days before beginning our trip together in california. it's weird coming back to a place that you call home and feeling like you don't belong. new people live in the rooms i called my own. the friends that made this place home are not here. (they too are exploring the world.) hurricane irene forced us to be indoors, but since i had no room to call my cozy hide-away - i spent the day running from building to building, trying not to let the gordon police see me. (only once they caught me and made me ride in their dark car decked out with flashing lights. "you have to stay inside, " they said "you're not allowed to leave the buildings..." i don't think they understood that i was an "off campus" student so i did not have a key to get into any dorm) i felt so trapped. so stifled. so lonely. after a week of living in really close community with people, suddenly finding myself without a bed or place to stay was frightening.
so i've been moving from dorm to dorm, mooching off of people and passing time any way i can. last night i found myself in dexter house and as i sat there and had food placed before me, i was humbled. so often i am the one offering food to others and it was so good to learn to accept hospitality as well. and i remembered something God began teaching me this summer, that we cannot sincerely love others until we know what it means to be loved, we cannot genuinely give food (spiritual or physical) to others until we know what it means to be hungry, we cannot properly offer hospitality to others until we know what it means to be homeless... and though this is a super small scale example, these few days of waiting for our trip have reminded me of what it means to be in need, to be at the mercy of those around you. i think this whole semester is going to be a really humbling journey.
i feel as though i am standing on the edge of something vast and dark; i am tip-toeing off the edge of it and i have no idea what is to come, but i am fairly certain that i will not be able to return to this same (and sane) safe little ledge. in four months i will not be the person that i am right now. i know i need to be changed. i know i need to learn and grow and experience new things.
this past week was a good taste of what is to come:
we learned how to tie knots and set up the tarps that will be our humble homes for the next three weeks.
we practiced lighting stoves and collected our gear.
we shared hopes and fears and goals.
we made a lot of food together.
we ate way too much ice cream. (the motto: "everything you eat now will keep you warm later." haha)
we wore sweatshirts and listened to good music.
we played banana grams. (i am determined to get better at word games.)
we went canoeing. (nate and i may have tipped our canoe... on a lake, no current, no reason to tip.)
we practiced gunnel hopping! (and i have some super crazy bruises because of it.)
already i am so very glad that this semester is going to be unlike any other semester i have experienced thus far. i am glad that the learning will be so tangible and practical, so hands on. i am glad that my heart's desire to know what it means to live in intentional community will finally be fulfilled. i am glad that we get to make our own food. our team is quite the eclectic group but even for that i am excited - we have so much to learn from each other. we all bring with us such different ideas, such contrasting backgrounds and varying values. already i have been so encouraged by such honest and vulnerable conversations. everyone is so great and i cannot wait to live with them for the next four months. (ok, i might not still be this excited after we spend every minute together for the next 25 days buuuuut, a girl can dream.)
so tuesday morning at 5am we fly out to california and i cannot even begin to imagine what the next month will hold. i'm hoping snow and grizzly bears are not in the cards but we shall see. your thoughts and prayers are so welcomed and appreciated. hopefully next time i update this i wil be a 21 year old certified outdoor educator.
may your days be filled with rhythms of rest, gratitude, and joy,
may you explore and love the places that you find yourselves in.
with a heart so full,