So. Many. Transitions. How do we manage them all in our lives today? Mine seem acute right at this moment – moving from a Rainbow Gathering back into what is termed “Babylon”. So basically unplugged and in a different world for a couple of weeks back into a very plugged in, very tethered world.
This trip I have been on the road for 7 weeks…..each day much like the other, when traveling in the van. I joke I am going to put a perpetual calendar in the Roadtrek to tell me what day it is and what the date is. So different than life at home where the day it is determines the activity of the day. But both awesome and enjoyed, in their own ways. It’s just the transitions that take time for me and my brain. The living in the moment of either world works well, I have found, but the brain needs time to segue in and out of modes. At least mine does.
It’s a privilege to live in both these worlds. I take none of it for granted. Right now the van is parked outside of my son and his wife’s world and they have allowed the man child and I to step into their lives for a few days. We’ll celebrate the man child’s golden birthday here (14 on the 14th) with a few surprises his older brother has planned. Memories in the making. And I’ll continue to process the transitions in my brain while living fully in the moment. I don’t know how else to do it.
Some journeys aren’t meant to be on the road and I’ve been on one in my head lately. Working through some things; seeing truth in others. I am amazed at how we see things dimly, most times, with the bravado of certainy, but, really, truly, things aren’t always as certain as they seem.
Coming home from a quick trip to Chicago this weekend, I finally erased the 85 podcasts that I didn’t have room to download on my phone. It hurt me to do that with so much wisdom waiting to be gleaned. They’ve been there months and months, but the “stress” of seeing that “85” every time I looked down and the realization that the freedom from thinking I was backed up on podcast listening was more needed than whatever wisdom might be there, so gone they were. I did find it interesting though that one podcast that I erased stayed in my phone and started playing when I got in the car. I just let it roll, thinking it surely must have had wisdom I needed in this hour. And it was filled with it. The chief thing I think I needed to hear was “people weren’t the problem. (Thanks Kris Valloton.) I have been chewing on that. I mean, I knew it, but it’s sunk deep now and opened a door of thought I needed to go through.
I am more at peace after that trip. Amazing what a good piece of cheesecake, some quilt fabric shopping and some time out of circumstances alone will do. That and the wisdom gleaned from hours of podcasts and the ability to put some space between life’s circumstances and my response to them. Journeys are a gift – both those in the world and those in the mind.
I’ve spent the entire day in disbelief that this is really, finally happening. Have you ever been double-minded like that? On the one hand saying, “Yes, God” but maybe at some deep level giving yourself an out so if it doesn’t come to be you can deal with it? So the day has been spent saying, “OH MY GOSH, WE ARE GOING TO ECUADOR!!” And wondering how God is going to show up to pull the rest of it together. Because He’s got to show up. We’ve booked the flight and the rest is our faith journey.
The young man (man child has become a teen and so the old moniker doesn’t quite work, hence the new one) is going with me and is VERY EXCITED. I am VERY EXCITED to share his first out of the U.S. of A. experience with him. (Well, except for Canada, but that’s U.S. of A. North, or at least it seems that way.)
I remember my first few weeks after arriving to spend a few months in Mexico City. (That was over 30 years ago but feels just like yesterday.) The adjustment was tough. I had had three years in university-level Spanish and had a piece of paper showing I was qualified to speak it, but as that first actual question came as I arrived, “De parte de quien?” I had zero idea what was being asked so I kind of clued in that this transition wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought it might be.
Then there was the food. So different that anything I had ever experienced. I had a list of everything I wasn’t supposed to eat (lettuce, watermelon, etc.) and really didn’t eat a lot of anything. I lost a lot of weight. Then I discovered Sugus, a chewy candy, and food kind of stabilized, filled-in with a lot of candy.
So that’s where my head is today — trying to think through and troubleshoot some of the issues you might have with a 13 year old who has only become a more adventurous eater in the last couple of years and has zero clue about the whole new reality he is about to enter in to. I think this is going to be a life-changer for him; I know it was for me.
We leave in about a month. We have no set plans other than some initial time in Quito and then striking out from there. I have NO IDEA how one navigates hotels and hostels when you don’t EVEN HAVE ACCESS TO WIFI as you move through life. GPS Navigation? Forget about it. I mean, I have visited Ecuador so I somewhat know what we’ll be facing, especially outside of the cities. But very quickly here I have grown accustomed to face life’s uncertainties armed with a smartphone and a Google app and now that crutch will be entirely taken away.
Follow our journey on Instagram. We’ll crosspost to Facebook. I’ll get on the blog if I can (but won’t be taking my computer and it’s a lot of weight in our backpack and a worry in my head). Instagram is @thisepicjourney. Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/This-Epic-Journey-1517863695115729/?fref=ts. I’ve also got a page about the journey with a little of the story at https://www.facebook.com/groups/616039435213645/. The posts will happen as we trip across wifi.
Say a prayer for us if you are the praying sort. I’ll need direction in a country still torn, in many ways, from the large earthquake this spring and the many temblors that have since followed. We’ll be okay, I know, as I am so confidant we are following a larger plan in all of this. We’ll come back changed, and confidant, and more faith-filled and my young man will soar in so many ways.
Ya know, one month can’t come soon enough for all that promise.