Now that we are back on the road I’ve been reflecting on our time off the road.
Everything out here on the road feels the same, or better, in all the fundamental ways that matter. It’s marginally different in minor ways — it’s more crowded — but it feels like it always did, at least for us. We have our rhythm. We have our adventures. Everything feels right, as it used to, it feels good.
It’s left me wondering a little bit what we were waiting for when we were waiting to get back on the road. Naturally we weren’t waiting the whole time we were off the road. We were working on projects that were harder to do while on the road. My wife started a business (which has become very successful), I wrote a novel, and am well into a book of non-fiction as well, and even sketched out a sequel to the first novel. We learned new skills, grew in new ways.
That was all good, but there was that background of waiting lingering about. I feel like everyone I know has been doing a bit of waiting the last couple of years. We’ve been almost like characters in a Greek play, waiting for something outside to come in and wrap things up.
If you spend any time looking at history though, you find there’s really never a neat tidy ending. When things become unusually uncertain, for whatever reason, as they did, our response is to pull back, we hunker down, we wait — no one wants to get caught out mid stride when it all comes crashing down. But it never all comes crashing down. Just bits and pieces here and there. And eventually it — whatever it may be, economic crashes, wars, political strife, disease — eventually we figure out where the pieces are falling, adjust, and then we stop waiting and get going again.
I feel like that’s about where we are right now, collectively. I know that’s were I am, and I hope you are too. I think it’s high time to get going again.
But where to go? For most people that’s metaphorical, and it’s that for us too, but for us it’s also literal. Where should we go?
For us the past felt like it was still sitting out there, waiting for us to come back. So we decided let’s go back. Let’s go back and find the path we had been on, see if it’s still there.
That’s why we’re at Hunting Island South Carolina. This is where we were almost two years ago when we decided we didn’t want to get caught out mid stride, when we decided we wanted to wait a bit, hunker down, assess the situation, see where the pieces were going to fall. Now that we’ve done that, this is where we pick up again. Not to repeat anything, but to start out again on the path.
I don’t know exactly where this path leads (and I have no idea where yours might lead you), but I do know that there is a path out there for each of us. And I don’t think the path that’s being offered up by our society these days is very appealing. I think that’s part of the reason people read this site. Because you also probably don’t think we were put here on earth, as part of this grand dance of existence, to maximize our safety and security, to build wealth or amass petty power.
I believe that we are here to give the gifts that we have built up inside us over millennia of our soul’s existence, that we are here to shepherd each other toward our gifts and give to the world those things that we have inside us.
We are all in the process of maturation. Both as individuals and as a species. None of knows where this all goes, but I think we all know that the current stories don’t wash and it’s time for something new. I don’t know what that looks like for you, but for myself, for us out here, it looks like this. It looks like walks through primordial forests, long afternoons on windswept beaches, evenings around the fire.
I believe that you’ll know when you are on the right path. You’ll feel it. Life will begin to feel like what it is, a gift, an adventure, a joy. You’ll feel connection, fulfillment, that deep sense of satisfaction at the end of the day that comes from knowing there is nothing else you would rather have done that day. That is the path. And if you manage to find it, don’t stray. Do the work. It isn’t always easy. It isn’t always beaches and campfires. Sometimes it’s engine repair and frustration and despair. But these moments are fleeting, they are the necessary growth, the twists and turns that reveal. Stay disciplined, stay focused, stay on the path. Let go of control and just walk the path. It will reveal itself slowly, only as much as you need to see, just keep on it, and see where it leads you. That’s adventure. That’s living.