February 14, 2014
I had several odd interactions with one of my oldest friends in the few weeks leading up to my departure. I did not understand what was being left out of the conversation until I was finally on the road, and I had time to reflect on them.
Perhaps it is a flaw, though not a serious one, if it even is. I have always been able to effect changes in my life when needed. Partially it has to do with not having strong family attachments. Not at home while growing up, and not later, having been single with no children. I had a confidant once who knew my background and cleared up for me some things that I never would have been able to see on my own. Her insight has stood me well over the years.
The difference between family ties and friends is that friends let you do what you need to do for yourself. The best ones help you on your way, and do not question the wisdom of your decisions. As this one old friend was attempting to do, gently, oh so gently. She was trying to be family. She asked in a quite oblique way if I really knew what I was doing. Moving to a new culture, with a new language, and new customs at the age of 63. Alone? Seems a bit absurd.
The word “adventure” does not totally fit what this latest change in my circumstances is about. Adventure seeking people, whether they be explorers or thrill seekers, or those attempting to cross things off their bucket list have one thing in common; they all expect to return “home” when the latest “adventure” is over. My search is to find a new “home”. It is my 3rd time. I have enjoyed the results of the previous searches. They each brought me what I needed at the time. I have every reason to expect similar results from this one.
I have learned a few things over the years. Thanks to so many who have helped me, and who continue to help, often without even knowing. I think now of the authors, the poets, the songwriters, the musicians whose sage advice has tremendous value if one chooses to pay close attention. I travel now with a huge library of information.
I was thrilled the first day on the road. I got scared at the border, then thrilled again at my first evening in this new country. I got lost a few times. I felt anxiety with the unknown more then a few times. I purchased 4 songs from the mariachi at the restaurant. I went to a Catholic Mass on Christmas day, and as I watched all the families process up to the baby Jesus to kiss his feet after Mass was over, I began crying, remembering the Christmas’s long ago, with my blood family at Father Jim’s church in Marine City, Michigan, The smell of the salt water, the colors of the countryside, the great expanses of farmland in unexpected places, the ubiquitous coastal mountains, and beaches, the warmth of the people. Even the endless roadside trash, just part of the new discoveries.
Thanks for being concerned, my friend, but worry not. I have to do this. It is who I am.