Tuesday, September 02, 2008

On The Road Again

It was much easier to be our nomadic selves when all we had to do was pack a rucksack and go. Life was really like that in the late 60s and early 70s on the road, thumb out and a hopeful smile. The journey was part of the trip (or vice versa), does that make sense? Roger could climb into the back of a van, pot smoke wafted out the open van doors, and a crew of strangers about to become friends greeted him. I traversed the coast highway between LA and San Francisco a half a dozen times the first summer my family moved to California. Camping with fellow travelers on Garrapata Beach, getting my first taste of California's high tides and a wet sleeping bag. Of course that all ended for various reasons, but it sure was easier back then to just pick up and go.

Today we're making the first of three journeys between Humboldt County and Santa Cruz. Our pick up truck is packed, and we're pulling a little trailer. We're dividing the loads, so when it comes time to pack the U-Haul, some time around the equinox, it will be a lighter trip and easier for us to do ourselves.

Yes, of course we're much too old to be such gypsies, but when we sold our house in Washington, we had no idea that we would not fall in love with Humboldt or that my mom's health would require vigilant advocacy. Life is like that you know, plans go awry. How could we have ended up in this crazy little house that gets no sunshine even on the blazing-est of days? How could we have known that these enticing hills and mountains have very little housing stock, and the land is really better suited for grazing cattle than cultivation, or is otherwise towering redwood forest beautiful dark and deep?

We keep old plans for new scenarios. The same dream unfolds for us, the one that took us to the shores of Port Townsend Bay, Humboldt Bay, and this roaring Pacific. We'll plant ourselves again, as full of promise as any seed in fertile soil. It's not magic to expect great things, it's what's in our cells. My crazy cosmic self thinks the same is true for you.

Still, it's a challenge. A U-Haul is not a rucksack and we look askance at all that we have gathered. It's a good thing we don't have to carry it all on our backs.

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