Somewhere on the blue highways lie my muse. Maybe it was that I was moved around beginning at a mere three weeks old to Germany and have not stopped since. You could say traveling is in my blood. This past trip in particular beckoned me until my whispers turned into shouts saying, “you may not feel ready, but just go”.
As the miles rolled by, I began to see the years of my life flying past me like they were billboards on the side of the road, me speeding past just a little too fast to read all of it.
What the hell are you doing, I kept asking myself. In time, it became clear to me that I was on a search for belonging. But something in me shifted on this trip. Yes, a search for belonging in the usual way: in friends and family, and community, but now something different called out to me. A belonging of contentment, you could say. A belonging of myself, fully in the moment. Not striving, not working, not needing a thing. Just a letting myself go with each passing mile.
I kept asking myself, “what was all this soul searching about? What does it mean to live a happy life?” The muse answered. Simpler choices. Sacred moments. That’s the upgrade. That’s the quality.
Let’s face it, there is so much devastation in the world right now. And to have this time on the road almost felt like a guilty pleasure, despite working since I was thirteen. Now, this time allowed me, well…time. Time to take inventory of my life. To become in the moment. But more than that…to become…despite an overused word…grateful.
When you’re on the road living out of a trailer, you begin to see how simple things really are. Scarcity gives way to abundance. I began to feel everything and everyone was conspiring for my good. Family and friends who took me in for warm meals and great conversation, angels watching over me (some very close calls), smelling the ocean and dipping my toes in the Pacific and the Atlantic, feeling warmth of the sun on my face after being sprayed by Niagra Falls, experiencing the many leaf colors of New England in the fall, eating lobster right out of the ocean. And reveling in all of the beautiful and kind people on my journey. Enjoying my own company without self-loathing. The time spent together with loved ones and new friends. Those are the things I will remember.
We have all embarked on a journey. The journey is our precious and finite lifetime.
No, we can’t fix everything, in fact the thought is crazy overwhelming. But, we can transform every moment to being ever so thankful. That to me, is truly gratitude.
As I drove into Denver that crisp beautiful afternoon looking at the Rockies that were now becoming snow covered since I embarked, tears of joy came over me. Silently with my beloved dog, Emmy Lou, we looked at each other, her paw on my lap. Tears that this life is so beautiful and fleeting.
That life is filled with tiny miracles. I believe that when we arrive at our last days that it will not be this grandiose thing, trumpets blaring. No. Instead, it will be all of those brief moments, sunrises, friends, family, animals, nature that have risen to meet us every day that will be the big door prize.
I believe it will be in those fleeting moments all through our journey saying these two words…“thank you”.
Time doesn’t make any sense to me. But, I do know time is a blessing. The people, animals and experiences are such to each of us. And the people around you deserve the most loving version of you. And so do you. Now. Maybe what I was looking for all along was there. But if there was one thing I would tell my past self it would be this…
Take your time, because there is so little time.
Forever Grateful to you, my Sweet Bird Family,
Happy Thanksgiving, you will all be at my table,
Nancy + Team Sweetbird