a pillar of thought and creativity stands in the kitchen,
a homemade hammock hangs from the beams.
(strategically placed directly in front of the television,
testifying that we do not often sit and stare at that box.)
an "exposure tally" keeps track of the sleeping outside
a basket continually overflowing with local fresh produce,
Nutella always on the shelf
a guitar sits patiently next to the woodstove,
with "the music bag" just in front waiting for some creative hands...
dance parties in the kitchen,
read aloud time at night..
this is home.
this i love.
anything i say about this semester will be an understatement. any adjective i attempt to attach to it to describe its greatness will prove insufficient. i feel like a spoiled little child, so much so that it hurts. i love this community of people more than words can say. after dreaming, praying, and thinking about living in an intentional community for years, i am finally experiencing it. i am experiencing and learning why it is challenging and so easily idealized. (which is the one thing i wanted so desperately to learn.) i am learning much about myself, my tendencies, my habits and how i communicate with others. i am learning about perception of others. i am learning what it means to have such an intentional and integrated life. (meaning, these people that i live with - not only are we in the same classes every day, but we're also in the same class of learning how to live together. we learn in our loft together as we discuss John Dewey's theories of education and how to best educate the world, but we also are constantly learning as we have house meetings and discuss problems, as we decide whose responsibility it is to pick up the CSA share or who started the dishwasher at 11pm and hindered some sleeping habits of those below. (definitely my fault) this house is our classroom; this world is our classroom...) i digress.
this semester has been such a collision of all of my most favorite things. so many things i am passionate about are shaping my daily life and it is way too good to be true: adventure, food (sustainable purchases!), intentional community, cultivating a home, making music...one of the most striking things to me however, is this contrast between the first month of this semester that was spent wandering through the Sierra Nevadas, and now - this daily life we spend in this mansion in Rockport, Massachusetts living intentionally together in the same place and learning as much as we can about each other, the world, and our futures as outdoor educators.
i'm realizing something about myself this semester: i thrive on adventure. i thrive on novelty and new experiences. this is partially why i loved backpacking in the sierras so much - it was new and exciting, somewhat risky and dangerous, but way too wonderful to pass up. i love going on adventures and exploring. i love trying new things.
but at the very same time, with the same exact passion, i crave stability and sameness.
i long for roots and familiarity in the sense of living in one place and knowing your neighbors, in the sense of being in a place long enough to impact it. (a very long time.) (this desire for home definitely snuck with me on our backpacking trip as every night when we would reach our destination i would treat it like home, (and call it home) and on the rare occasion that we spent two nights in one location - well, that was a super home.)
this semester has granted me the opportunity to explore both of those passions so thoroughly and tangibly; still i love both.
so i am wondering how to live a life that holds both of these ideas in healthy tension. i'm not sure if it's possible - and sometimes i am not even sure why i am studying outdoor education if this is the case, but i'm enjoying the journey and learning so much that i am not concerned with the destination at this point. sometimes the journey is most important. (a lot of times we get so caught up with the destination that we miss the journey.)
so until i figure this out, or until God points me in a clear direction and reveals to me how he wants to use all of these (seemingly) contradicting passions, i'll keep learning and seeking to live hospitably in each new adventure. i want to live in such a way that makes others feel at home. i want to host the thoughts and perspectives of those around me well, to be a presence that welcomes others to be who they are, not who they think i want them to be. i want to live in a way that tells others that they belong.
"Stability is a commitment to trust God not in an ideal world, but in the battered and bruised world we know. If real life with God can happen anywhere at all, then it can happen here among the people whose troubles are already evident to us."
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove in The Wisdom of Stability
in other news, it's a rainy thursday.
tonight i am going to a concert in boston. (finally! listening to live music again! i've been longing to go to a show for quite some time.) tomorrow tricia, sam and i are escaping to the white mountains for a quick over night hiking excursion and then returning in time saturday evening for Raf's 21st birthday dance party. life is good, friends. life is way too good.
finally, these 3 books i recommend:
The Wilderness World of John Muir
The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture
The Phantom Tollboth