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...
Home… What a concept for contemplation, and one that is particularly highlighted when traveling. If you look up the definition for ‘home,’ you will find thirty-one different options, not counting the sub-headings; for example, just in relation to nautical adverbs for home, there are three different definitions, “into the position desired; perfectly or to the greatest possible extent: sails sheeted home,” being one of my personal favorites. But the home I’m talking about is the first and most familiar definition: “a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.”
Having moved out of my apartment in the first half of May, I haven’t had a place of my own since then. At the end of August, I realized that there was only one place in the last few months, that I had spent two weeks or more, and it only happened once. As we’re approaching six months since I’ve moved out, I’ve estimated that most of the time I stay in a place for about 2-5 nights, with only the very occasional 7-10; and by magic, kindness, and generosity, I stayed in one place for almost a month in October. I think, by definition, I might be considered "home-less," but I often feel it is quite the contrary.
aka: Coastal Love, pt. 1
*June 14 & 15, 2013*
**All italic quotes are taken directly from journal entries, which were added just prior to posting**
Upon waking up in Crescent City, CA, grateful to have my car troubles in the past, I decided I was ready to leave California. California has always been kind of like a backyard to me, born in San Diego and living in Reno, it was never too far to get to the Golden State. Until this trip, I had never really spent time in northern California, so I was happy to for the chance, but decided that although the characteristics associated with living in California (such as the high cost of living, large populations, etc), may be mitigated in the north, they were still present. It’s a beautiful land, filled with easy-going hippies, and while it’s a great place to visit, I wasn’t feeling the calling to stay there much longer.
Trusting my gut has been a big theme in this trip; from the moment I started considering it, I needed to find my own confidence and certainty, despite any naysayers I would encounter. Throughout the trip, my plans have been consistently changing; being able to trust my intuition, and the little voice in my heart that sings when I’m in the right place and goes mute in the wrong ones, has been a challenge to consistently listen to and follow. But on this lovely morning, there was no hesitation; I packed up camp and headed into Oregon.
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.
Ceremonies, traditions, milestones… All of the special moments that mark significant points in life have been at the forefront of my mind these days. In just over a week of my return to Reno, I have been surrounded by all of these and I’ve been observing the meaning and effects they have on the people who are involved. Spending a week at a cabin in Tahoe with my family is somewhat of a family tradition, my cousin proposed to his amazing girlfriend just before his arrival, one of my best friend’s is getting married this weekend, my 10-year high school reunion is this weekend, and Burning Man starts on Monday (though I’m not attending either of the last two events, their significance and impact on their communities have not escaped me). Apparently, late August and the end of summer is a time that is saturated for celebrations!
As I mentioned in my last blog, I successfully finished the book I had been reading, and one of the most interesting parts of finishing it was how it so perfectly related to what has been happening around me. In The Solace of Open Spaces, the author discusses two events that take place in Wyoming, which are based around traditional Native American celebrations, describing the course of transformation, “It was an old ritual: separation, initiation, return… They would return changed.” There is potential for transformations to occur whether you’re going on a summer road trip, banishing yourself to the desert community of Burning Man, getting engaged or married, or whatever other ceremony or milestone you are participating in.
Stories from the road-trip that inspired moving to the PNW, and other travel adventures.