Posts Tagged With: Letting go

Traveling in the Moment



On the eve of my departure on yet another cross-country adventure, and while musing over my decision to make the trip without a set plan or map, I am reminded of another shorter trip where a spur-of-the-moment decision and a last-minute left turn set the course of my life for the next 23 years.


I was still young, I think Jimmy was still in office (see Peacemaking with Jimmy), I was driving the same car I’d made the trip home from Maine in, and oddly, I had just stopped to visit the same pretty redhead I’d come home to Oregon to reunite with earlier…and she still wasn’t waiting.


In that case too, I was just headed in a general direction with a fairly clear destination in mind, but in no particular rush to get there.  I was on a highway winding through a dense pine forest when I passed a sign bearing the name of a small town I had only visited once in my short life and which was the home of a number of relatives I hadn’t seen in some time.  One word on a sign in the middle of nowhere and I might just as well have said, “Beam me north, Scotty!”  I stopped in Paisley for a quick visit and ended up spending the night. The next day I had Easter dinner with my cousin’s family and spent another night with them.  One thing led to another and before I knew it, I’d been living there and working for 6 months.  In that time, I met my first wife who had already applied for several positions in Alaska.  Before the year was out, she got a job offer in S.E. Alaska and north we went….where I stayed for the better part of 22 years.


I dawdled a bit too long over the above paragraphs and had to get on the road before finishing the post. It’s fitting however, that I complete this now by adding the experiences of my first day on the road.


I carried out my plan of traveling spontaneously for most of the day, shooting under the first freeway I came to and heading due west on a state highway, then turning onto a lessor road to angle a bit more northward.  As I made that very first turn (this one a right-hander), there on a sign staring me in the face was the same name I mentioned above…”Paisley.” Wow!  I’m still not sure what to make of that!  I’d been a bit sad about leaving Florida again, but consoled myself by saying I would be back someday.  Is it possible though that this trip is leading to another major life change that will keep me away for 20 years?  Of course it is!  Did that turn being a right-hander instead of a left mean that I’m going back somehow rather than forward?  I doubt it since we can never go back except in our minds, but it is interesting in light of the fact I am returning to the region I was raised in.  There is no way we can know for sure what’s around the corner for us, but that’s ok! We’re in good hands..and if we’re watchful, there are plenty of signs for us to follow.  There’s really nothing to do but get out of the way, buckle up and enjoy the ride!…and maybe take a few snapshots along the way.

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The Basics


Such chatter, such nonsense fills our days

What are we doing?

Where do we think we are going?

Was the world in disarray when we arrived?

Will it fall apart if we step back?

What is so important that we ignore so many signals?

How can we forget to even breathe properly?

When did we last drink enough water?

When did we last move our body?



It’s only the noise around us

that complicates,

it’s the non-stop dialogue in our head

that confuses

Still the mind, let go of opinion

The peace we seek, the answers we long for

are here…inside us

Just listen

Just let go and listen!

There is nothing to do

but serve

Be here…now,

and all things will come

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A Bumpy Ride


Another thing my friend and I used to say to one another a while back as we were cutting our ties to the 9-5 world and surrendering ourselves to the will of the Universe was, “Buckle up!…it could be a bumpy ride!” Little did we know about just how bumpy it could get! “Letting go” is even more exciting than bungee jumping, with not just simple ups and downs, but totally unexpected experiences around every turn!


Six months ago, I found myself in Oregon, completely unencumbered for the first time…ever, I guess!…at least in my adult life! I could have gone almost anywhere in the world and the only place I really felt drawn to was Florida; and I drove all the way back across the country to the place we’d left less than two years earlier.


On the surface, not a lot has gone on here. I came to interview for a job I didn’t get, then decided to spend a few months at an ashram in the Bahamas.  Maybe that was my reason for coming here, although it would have been cheaper to fly.  In the couple of months I have spent here, I have worked a little, enjoyed the warm weather, done some yoga, and I’ve written…another first of sorts, and something I’ve been meaning to do for years. Writing has felt right, but I’ve found myself still expecting something more to happen—for some big new door to open or some crystal clear vision of my future to come to me.  Nothing.


Feeling antsy, I’ve been researching intentional communities I’d like to visit along with other possible places to land and have been looking mainly north along the east coast…and a bit inland.  I’ve come across some interesting sites, but nothing has really moved me…and I have still been feeling antsy.  A couple of days ago, I just threw it out there!  I might have been walking my rented dog at the time, I don’t remember, but I said out loud to no one in particular, “Ok…what now?”


Eckhart Tolle warns in one of his books that asking this can set one up for some real surprises, so I’ve been on the edge of my seat!  I called and talked to my mother in Oregon a few days ago and realized again that her time here is probably very limited.  I was still looking north and had even set a rough departure date, but my tentative long-term plans had started to include the possibility of swinging out west at some point. Two days ago, I drew one of the oracle cards my friend left with me, just curious about how the universe might choose to answer my query. I pulled the “New Location” card which confirmed what I was generally feeling, but was still pretty vague. Yesterday, I pulled another card. This time it was the “New Opportunity” card. Again, it fit with the general idea, but left me with no real direction.


Sensing that something was “happening” when I woke up this morning, I punched the browser icon on my phone to open up my email. The first…or second subject line I read was on an ad message from Motel 6 ( I think I got a discount somewhere for signing up for their mailing list). I read in big bold letters, “Your Trip West is Waiting For You!”


“Hmmmm, that’s interesting, “ I thought to myself. I scrolled down further and came across an update from the Caretaker Gazette. Lots of messages have come to me through the Gazette, so I fired up my computer to get a better look at the update. I quickly scrolled through the short list and just after reading one from New Mexico that was mildly interesting, I saw one from Oregon. It was an ad I’d seen before and had investigated to a point almost a year ago. It was a great-sounding opportunity, but they didn’t want any pets around and at the time there was a cat in the house. There is no cat now, so after looking into it some more, this time I responded with an email.   A few minutes later, I was looking at an intentional community site and found another Oregon ad…this one also very attractive! I emailed that party as well…and heard back from them fairly quickly and we’re still communicating.


I don’t know what’s going to happen…nothing is definite and surprises are becoming part of everyday life for me now, but it looks possible that I will soon be turning the truck around and heading across country again…for the 6th time. I know it sounds a bit crazy, but what can one do? Just “buckle up” and enjoy the ride! There must be a route across that I haven’t taken yet.

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