The cold mornings hit this week, but the fog always lifts in time for a walk under blue skies. On one of those days, I was only warm for the hour when I was walking down the path with the sun on my back.
Always something different to see, and why should I be surprised? But I always am! I saw two plants I didn’t know yesterday; maybe one of my readers can help me identify them.
What seems to be a lily in the seed-forming stage.
And a bush with fuzzy seeds.
I was so relaxed, I dinked around and took forever to get home (to the house with not enough windows). I even sat on this bench for a while and noticed things. The last time I enjoyed the view from that spot I was with my late husband, almost two years ago. Normally on my walks now, I just walk.
Back in my own yard, blooms hang on to the newly-planted echinacea. This week I set out Iceland poppies, and will soon put up more trellising for the various peas. I’m trying to get things in order here before I leave next week on a trip across the country. There is so much to do I shouldn’t really take the time to compose blog posts, but that strategy seems to work about as well as if I would stop eating for lack of time.
So far I don’t feel anxious about the deadline by which all my preparations must be made, before my departure. Maybe that’s because I still have a few days, and they aren’t packed with other activities to work around. I bought new luggage for this trip, not only practical, but fun. That’s a first-time experience already. 🙂
“Money spent on good-quality gear is always money well spent.”
-Tahir Shah, In Search of King Solomon’s Mines
Before I get on the plane I’ll try to share specifics about this upcoming journey. I read some of my old blog posts yesterday to find out to what degree I’ve already repeated myself in my past travelogues. Often I have a hard time relating to the author of the articles, and I think to myself, “That girl has eaten way too much dark chocolate!” When I am on an expedition farther than my own neighborhood with its familiar insects and flowers, my brain starts playing Beethoven symphonies instead of Chopin nocturnes.
Much of the inspiring travel writing out there appeals to the me that once was, in the most energetic and healthy time of life — but when I actually lived in that era and body I was involved in much more thrilling and satisfying work than wandering to and fro among strangers. I was a young wife and mother, and that experience was adventurous to the max, requiring all of my resources and spunk.
People write as though you haven’t really traveled unless you go with no itinerary and no destination, to be surrounded by strangers – whom you would, of course, find to be kind. I do have experience traveling alone among strangers whose language I didn’t know, and they weren’t all careful of my welfare. In the decades since, in the interest of preserving the health and enjoyment of my family, I have focused on thoroughly preparing for journeys. It won’t prevent unexpected events, things “going wrong,” we hope in ultimately harmless ways, and ideally making for good stories to tell. Adventure is a relative concept, I suppose.
I am not averse to meeting new people on my travels, but mostly I hit the road or climb on the plane with the goal of seeing a familiar face at the end of my trip. I have the goal, but don’t hold on to it too tightly. Anything can happen, and long before I take my seat on the airplane I give myself into the care of many people who are capable of goofing up. When I get to my destination I will let my hosts take care of me and determine my schedule.
I can’t travel anywhere that God isn’t. Maybe that is the main reason why every morning my brain will be excited and my heart will be at peace, and I will feel like an adventurer.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” -Lao Tzu