Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Leg of the Journey

I no longer am living full-time in my bus. That does not mean the journey is over.

One of the benefits of minimalist living is that it strips away the value that we too often place on material goods and possessions. Often we do not even understand why we are so caught up in owning things that in end end up owning us. For anyone who has not seen it I recommend watching PBS's Scott Simon's Affluenza.

Colorado Monument 
I spent two weeks at Colorado Monument outside Grand Junction, coming down from the mountain only once for groceries and never tired of the experience – of waking up to a different dawn each day and being overwhelmed by the majesty I saw all around.

Nor did I tire of the other campers who came there.

One was a couple from Canada who brought with them a nephew and a powerful telescope and software that helped them find and zero in on planets and stars.

Another was a man fighting lung disease and breathing the clear air to get better. And he did. In just a few weeks' stay he was able to take long walks.

A third was a couple from Toronto, also in a Volkswagen, who came there "to find ourselves."  They were lost, they said, in their marriage and in the world until one day they realized they could wake up "without care or worry." And so they hit the road.

And the hodge-podge gang from Brooklyn – five guys who pooled their resources and bought a beat-up RV determined to make it to San Francisco and drink beer all the way. We laughed until it got dark at night and the stars came out.

While I was travelling many asked what I was doing to fill my days. Nothing, I replied. The days fill themselves. It is remarkable how little there is that needs to be done once you let go of the internal need for doing, as if your productivity somehow mattered to the world. It doesn't.

What you get as a life-long gift, just as happened with the couple from Toronto, is your sanity back.

A desert cactus flowers.
Viewed from the grandeur of rugged peaks where artists come to paint, the world looks a lot bigger and we experience ourselves a lot smaller.

You can spend an hour watching an ant or a flower or a bee, and no time is lost at all, and what is gained is greater love of life. And maybe a little more understanding too – though not in a way that can be put into words.

A park ranger told me there that there is no shortage of water even in the semi-desert. "We get the right amount of water for everything that lives here," she said. For the junipers and the pi├▒on pines, and the desert bluebirds that feed of the juniper berries, and the bees that visit the flowers, there is enough. And for scurrying mice and the hawks overhead. It's there.

It struck me that there was a lot of wisdom in that observation, and it had more to it than just an explanation of thriving desert life.

The riches of this planet whether sparse or lush are what they are. There is enough for everything and everyone that lives on this planet if we understand and ask only what we really need.

Colorado mountains viewed in westering sun from Monument.
And maybe that was what was so inviting in the song sung to me by the breeze up there are night:  that you have enough when you have enough, and you don't need more. Just a place to lay your head and sing your own song until the sun comes up again tomorrow as it always will.


  1. John,

    Cannot tell you how much this post meant to us. Was browsing The Good Luck Duck's blogroll today and stumbled on your site while putting together our own rv blog post. Plan to keep checking in, in the future - because you remind us of how we felt and why we did this in the first place (I lost my mom recently, she was only 66 and it was sudden, so have been rving in a place for 15 months that is so opposite of why we did this).

    We miss our mountains in Glacier Park - they are what always kept us remembering we need so little...and we felt so incredibly "rich" in their presence. We're homesick, for sure, after a really challenging year.

    I don't want to link drop, so am spelling out our site where we referenced your blog today. It is cheap-rv-livingdotcom. If for any reason you don't want this reference, by all means just let us know!

    Safe Travels To You, Jim and Robin

  2. Hi Jim,

    No, the reference is fine. I welcome links to legitimate sites that relate to this life style. Thank you for visiting. I am sorry to hear about your moment. Getting out in the RVing world is one good way to be living in the here and now and putting losses, if still painful, in perspective. Good luck to you and Robin. Keep in touch.