Thursday, September 29, 2011
i am sitting here watching the fog roll in, my eyes constantly wandering from my blank word document to the sea. ten minutes ago i could see the lighthouses sitting side by side on the ocean, now they are enveloped in a mysterious cloud of grey. beside me nate is teaching sam guitar; i am thankful that so many people in this house are musical. kerry clicks away at her computer and hannah sits in the loft watching a show, i know this because occasionally she laughs out loud for no apparent reason. : ) living with people in a house is great; it feels too good to be true. for so long i have dreamed, talked, prayed, and thought about living in a house with others, experiencing intentional community - and finally the desires of my heart are being fulfilled. this journey is overwhelmingly rich.
it's hard to know how to begin explaining the past month of my life. it seems far easier to tell you about today, or to describe to you the people i now live with, or paint a picture of the sunrises that i can see over the ocean from where i sleep...
biking. it is my new mode of transportation and i am absolutely in love with it. for the past two years i have idealized the thought of not having a car and being forced to ride my bike every where i want to go. this semester, i do not have my car. for the past month my mode of transportation has been my feet - i spent the past three weeks walking everywhere i needed to go, walking nearly 150 miles, and now riding in a car just seems strange and way too easy. it's not rewarding. riding my bike with the slightly flat tires, squeaky breaks and finicky gears that sometimes jump off the teeth of the crank without any warning however, is very rewarding.
today we did not have class because it rained. (i love my life.) by late afternoon however, i grew restless of not doing anything. homework nearly done and no commitments in sight, i longed to go somewhere i had never been before. (the nomad lifestyle still rears its head now and then.) sam suggested that we bike to gloucester and explore. i agreed. after packing some quick adventure snacks and throwing on my play clothes, we grabbed hannah and set off into the grey late afternoon. the sky looked like rain but the craving for adventure beat out the fear of getting soaked. we pedaled fast and 4ish miles later found ourselves on main street where we wandered in and out of stores and finally settled in a coffee shop, a place i had never been, hurray! as we biked home the salty ocean air washed over my face and i looked at the sky and hoped for rain.
so many things i love about living in this house with these people: i love watching everyone bustling around in the kitchen making food for one another, i love seeing a slack line set up in the backyard, i love community dinners and how they happen 4 times a week, i love that music is played (and taught) nearly everyday, i love that we can see the ocean from our porch, i love that grocery shopping days feel like Christmas, i love that we take turns making meals for each other, i love that we have a CSA share...
i do want to attempt to explain the trip i returned from in the sierras, i do want to try to put words and pictures to that experience - but it seems to be a terrifying and overwhelming task. i would like much better to discuss it over coffee or tea, but the purpose of this blog is to fill in those gaps because i cannot do that with most of you who read this - so i will do my best. for now i will include a little snippet that i wrote on the last day of trip.
People miss things.
on trip hannah missed her family, sam craved a burger with avocado, and kerry missed new zealand.
on trip i constantly misplaced things: my multi-tool, my aquamira, my chapstick...but i realized driving out today, looking at those mountains for the last time, that there were few things that i sincerely missed while on trip. i mean i missed talking with my family and getting letters from my grandfather...but other than that i was extremely content. i wondered why i did not miss more things, or even more people... i wondered what it meant to miss things, places, people.
i think the answer lies in trust, in learning that God always provides for us in the communities that we find ourselves. he might not provide for us in the way we think we deserve, or the ways we desire, but he provides for us nonetheless, and it is always enough. (more than enough.) and i think learning this more and more stifles the feeling of nostalgia in real ways, opens us up to be present and fully invested where we are. i was so nervous to enter into this new community of people and yet as always, God provided far more than i could have begun to ask for...he provided encouragement and laughter, difficult conversations that deepened communication skills, challenging insight and so much more that words would only tarnish.
nate mori was right, long wilderness trips make you realize and question things. he said it well this morning at our final debrief: ' people matter, food and water matter, every thing else is a privilege...' somehow i want to figure out how to live a life that says that people are the most important.
i feel like this trip will be changing me for a long time. this trip ought to be changing me for a long time.