There was something about turning north that unsettled me deeply. The beginning of the end of this journey, complicated by a panicked desire to turn back and yet, an overwhelming homesickness for my dogs and my own bed drawing me toward Maine. All of this complicated more by finding a town I loved and then a dog in a city I loved even more and could barely stand to part with. There is the fear that my money will run out and I will not have a place to go, that I will have to hurry or miss things in order to get home before I have no choice.
In 2 weeks I'm heading into the mountains toward snow again, this time across valleys flooded by unusual rain. It is greener than green, lush, incredible. The rain comes down relentlessly most days, but there is sun too, much of the time. On many days it is lovely somehow, but sometimes I want to lie down on the ground and weep, letting the rain wash me away.
I invited chaos into my life a few weeks ago in the form of a class that is forcing me to look hard at decisions I'm making about my life and my health. I am seeing myself under a microscope, turning over those rocks I usually ignore. It's useful, painful, gut wrenching, good work. I have a new tribe because of it, a tribe I very much needed in my life. Still, tackling the dark bits while trying to create a small home for myself, a little, quiet piece of the world to call mine, over and over again before uprooting myself for the next place - it's so tiring right now.
Let me be clear. I welcome all of this. I'm moving in the right direction, but we all know there can't be light without dark. No trip out into the world is shiny and sweet all the time. To be out on the road is to ask the questions, knowing that the road will provide you with the answers you need, and not often with the answers you want.
I daydream about lying in my bed, watching the top of the tree in my friend's backyard, listening to the sound of her family, talking quietly with my dogs in the sunshine, watching the tiny garland I bought somewhere in New Mexico flutter in the breeze. I have started to think about what I might do when I return to Maine, but there's not much there yet. I'm not quite ready for what that might look like.
In all of this, I am still seeing and capturing simple, everyday beauty through the lens of my camera. I'm getting better, I think, as I go. I take fewer shots and get more satisfying results. Letting the darkness wash over me as it needs to allows me to see the happiness more clearly, with better focus. In those moments I am opening up, allowing possibility, curiosity, and joy. In those moments I am truly me.