"Be content of mind and sound of soul as you travel your own road" Andrew Bones
Hillary and I walked warm sunny hills outside Missoula today; laughing about daily events, love, and the joy of this journey we call life. Thank God for Hillary. I spent over 10 hours in the basement of a gear shop today ; slinging espresso, zipping winter coats, regenerating a water softener and discovering a totally foreign dialect of outdoor rec - rafting packages. It's not so much that work is terrible, it's that in the midst of gear and commission and cleaning, a sunny walk with Hillary and Geronimo is the best part of my day.
I've been thinking a lot about community lately as I revel in final weeks with a Montana crowd, scheme to visit traveling companions, and am overflowing with excitement to reside less than a 10 hour drive from so many loved ones on the eastern side of this country. I think about spring peepers - singing in a damp night. Fog rolling off a river as sun warms the landscape. Summer is coming.
Hillary says I'm happier because of the confidence and contentment of having a plan. Truth. But not a whole truth.
Lately Ryan and I carry on like Franny and Zooey over enlightenment, and the steps in between. Happiness. God. Contentment. In his simplified life of cross country cycling and long distance hiking he's found a joy and clarity all too fleeting during his college years.
It's so wild - the journey.
How we all find similar things in different ways at different times.
He asks me from a picnic table set against a sinking sun in Arizona - are you happy? I nearly turn bitter or offended at the audaciousness of the question - until I realize - in that moment - no, no I'm not happy.
During the nomadic chapters of my life I'm quite happy, I have joy and clarity. My domestic chapters seem, well, a little more cumbersome.
But - as I mentioned - I've been thinking a lot about community, and how we're created to be together and care about one another. And I think Hillary and Bones are onto something. It's quite difficult to share life with others if you're not content of mind and sound of soul as you travel your own road.
My friends teach me this because we all have such different roads; caring for a two year old son, international self-powered treks, finishing up a final semester at school. All challenging paths with opportunity for joy, pain, and just maybe- enlightenment.
And me? I plan to pack up and resume my nomad ways in a month. After a few weeks of that scene I'll nestle into a new chapter at a Mountain Campus and Summer Camp for outdoor recreation and education in Virginia.
This past week I've realized - I am happy.
That coveted light beams into my soft grey tunnel; I catch sparkles in my hands. Content of mind and sound of soul. Traveling my own road. Sharing every step possible with a fellowship that warms my heart.