September 12, 2013
After almost three months since my last visit to the Oregon coast, I have finally returned for a long weekend of camping alone. Less than two weeks ago, I attempted to make a more permanent move to Eugene in the context of an unstable work/living situation, which was quickly falling apart. Unsure of what was going to happen and what my next move would be, revisiting the place I felt most independent and inspired seemed like an appropriate place to reevaluate.
Since my return yesterday, I have been overcome with joy, happiness, awe, and excitement, and even wrote an Ode to the Oregon Coast during last night's sunset. The stunning surroundings have lifted my mood immensely and the natural silence of the environment spiked my creativity as I turned my attention inward. And just like my first visit to the Oregon coast in June, I felt like being here was what my soul needed.
Before departing Seattle to return to the coast, I made some connections that lead to introductions to very interesting, like-minded people, whose company would eventually lead to inspiring conversations and new adventures. The best part of these connections was the simple reminder that interacting with like-minded and passionate people has a somewhat contagious effect... I felt reinvigorated about my plans and goals and could feel my energy resurfacing in spite of the challenges I'd recently been facing.
Alas! It is March 1st and it is one of my favorite days; not only because it's the first of the month, but also because it is March. Daylight savings is one week away and although we lose an hour of sleep, the daylight in our evenings will suddenly extend, giving the feeling that we will have the elusive and ever-desired "extra hours in a day." And, with March, I know that the arrival of Spring is trailing just behind it.
February was one wild rollercoaster filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, periods of insane, slow-moving, patient-testing waiting, and equally opposite fast-paced, non-stop, no-rest-for-the-wicked whirlwinds. I try to appreciate life in all of it's changing, unique patterns, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who is grateful to wish fickle, fierce February farewell!
I welcome March with excitement, joy, and gratitude, feeling this resurgence of energy flooding happily into my body and soul. Much like my feelings on the first of the month, I have also written before of gratitude - otherwise known as "The Science of Happiness." So, to celebrate the first and March and spring with gratitude, I've composed a list of everything I am grateful for at the moment. Perhaps it will inspire some joy and gratitude for you as well...
For me, and I suspect at least some of the crew of 20+ who stayed at the Kehlet Mansion/Meeks Bay for the best wedding weekend I’ve ever witnessed, the energy on Sunday was somewhat connected to the exhaustion and both the alcohol and emotional hangovers everyone was beginning to recover from; for our newlywed couple, it was in fact the first day of the rest of their lives. For others, it was the last day of summer before school started, and for so many more unmentioned, it seemed like either the day after something ending or the day before something new began. For all intensive purposes, it was the lull day, and based on the conversations I was having with everyone I spoke with, it seemed like the event or the location didn’t make a difference because everyone was feeling the same energy.
It was as though the 24th was the last day of summer and the 26th was the first day of fall, and the 25th was just this calm, almost motionless, pause of a day in between. I know fall doesn’t technically start until September 22nd, almost a month away, but I feel this energy every year, right around the time school starts; even when I’m not in school, I was enough of a nerd my entire life that I always looked forward to starting school and the long, too-hot summer finally starting to cool down, and in a place like Reno-Tahoe, you can always tell if school’s in or not based on how busy things are at the lake. This year, that energy seemed to be even more pronounced because of the summer adventure I was on, and the wedding weekend serving as a huge culmination, and final event, of this wild summer ride. I may have mentioned before, this wedding was the one and only thing that I was certain of all summer, or all year for that matter; I knew my plans would change, the destinations of my trip would vary, and that the future was a grand mystery, but I also knew that no matter what, I would be in Tahoe to celebrate the wedding of two of my dearest friends. And now it’s over.
July 15th. I’m stuck in the middle! I’ve been wandering for about two months now, and have just under one month before my planned return to Reno; though, for how long I will return is still undecided. I feel like I’m, roughly, in the middle of this summer journey, by definition in the exact middle of July, and seemingly, in the middle of any decision-making processes I may be attempting. Originally I had planned to be making my way towards western BC by now, but due to the nature of traveling, and the ever-changing plans, detours, & unexpected adventures, I’ve found myself approximately, and quite synchronistically, in the middle of Oregon. I’m literally and figuratively, ‘stuck in the middle.’ In regards to this portion of my adventure, I have one month ahead of me and weeks of stories behind me, but I’ve been stuck with traveler’s indecision and writer’s block. Where to go from here??
Usually I’m all about balance, tending to believe that the middle ground is the most stable and provides the most equilibrium – usually a place I like to be or strive for. But there is one regard in which I am starting to question that logic, and I may just be turning into an extremist of a very specific kind…
**Side Note: It felt a little funny for me to post my "Low Tide" blog yesterday considering how contrasting those lows had felt to the highs I was presently experiencing. For the most part, I have been trying to post my blogs in chronological order, but I’ve decided that I’m going to throw that notion out the window. I’ve realized that sometimes I am ready to write and share, and others it takes me a little longer to verbalize, catch up, or whatever the writer's block may be; life isn't really linear anyways, but hopefully this isn't too confusing! I'm still considering dating each blog with the actual dates it is documenting, to help make sense of what may appear to be wildly erratic locations and stories, but that is yet to be decided (I'm open to input). In the meantime, here’s a post about yesterday, June 27th…**
From beginning to end, today was one of those perfect kind of travel days. It started out beautifully, and by the time it was finished, I felt truly blessed, connected, and in love with life. As I drove home after watching the most resplendent sunset, listening to Sloom by Of Monsters and Men (which was lyrically, synchronistically ideal for the day I'd had), I felt as though my fourth chakra (aka heart chakra) was actually exploding with love, and it seemed to be at everything and nothing...
It’s hard to believe it’s been two weeks since I left my first spot on the road trip – Pleasant Valley Sanctuary. It’s been a whirlwind of a trip so far, keeping me busy with plenty of things to do besides write, but really I think I’ve been putting off writing about this particular experience because I feel there may not be words to appropriately capture everything it was. Time seems to be flying by though, so it seems like I should at least try…
I arrived at the sanctuary the afternoon after they had finished a three-day silent retreat, so the resounding energy was a stark contrast from the world I felt like I was leaving behind. Though it seemed nearly deserted, I was greeted by one of the two owners, who gave me a brief tour and guided me to my tent. After, I was greeted by another gentleman who was there on a work exchange, and who gave me a full tour of the property before taking me down to a spot on the Yuba river. Swimming in the cool, clean, refreshing waters revived me, and when we got back to the sanctuary, I was eventually acquainted with the rest of the people there and the daily schedule. The entire sanctuary functioned on this schedule, and though I wasn’t a part of all of the activities, the schedule shaped my time there. It was a simple but transformative schedule that looked essentially like this:
The art of doing nothing is one that I’m not quite so acquainted with, but have definitely been trying to embrace. A natural-born planner and busy-body, I generally always have a lot going on, in my life and in my mind, so slowing down isn’t always something that comes easily to me. Having spent the last year in the clairvoyant program, working out regularly and often, and in a job that always kept me busy, this transition to a slower pace has been a bit of a change; and moving out and preparing for this summer has given me plenty to keep myself busy with over the last few weeks. So, although I’ve never before experienced one of those do-nothing vacations I’ve heard of people talking about, I decided that 10 days in Hawaii would be the perfect time and place to change gears. I aimed to not make any plans, and limited my goals to my website, meditating regularly, and a personal favorite, watching the sunrise and set the same day.
I think it’s safe to say, the summer’s adventures have begun! After months of considering, planning (unplanning), and attempted preparing, I am now, officially, just traveling.
On the beach at Napili Bay, one of my old favorite spots, I realize that I’ve underestimated the depth and vividness of my memories. Ever since flying into Maui, I’ve been experiencing flooding memories of my previous time spent here, and in general of what was going on in my life then. Almost exactly seven years ago, about 6 months after Chris had passed away, I was lucky enough to spend some time floating between Maui and Oahu. My crash pad in Maui was just up the street from Napili Bay, so upon arriving today, I decided to take a walk through the entire area.
Stories from the road-trip that inspired moving to the PNW, and other travel adventures.