If I had to pick one word that summed up the last eight months of travel with five kiddos, it would be: WILD. The choice to leave our home state, get rid of 90 percent of our possessions, sell a beautiful house we have dwelled in for the past twelve years, work on the road, and school all my babies (minus one who is in her freshman year of college) – WILD, right?
We have experienced so very much and let that wildness take over in a beautiful way. We discovered our love for D.C. and conquered all means of transportation. Celebrating Halloween was a top favorite of mine in the downtown streets.
Along the way, farms opened up space for us. Most of our overnight stays landed us in the most beautiful state parks. Seeing the dedication others put forth in caring for the Earth amazed me, as well as furthering our study of wild plants, mushrooms, and wildlife we encountered along the way.
We explored art, not only through museums, but also in the painting of Cadillacs and writing our favorite words outside of Elvis' house in Tennessee. Living and breathing in all the art murals in each state awoke a deepness in each of us, inspiring us to explore our own creative talents.
Markets were a fun place to try seasonal offerings from whatever region we had planted our feet in that day. Weather became an exciting to experience. Snow in New Mexico, then sunny 70's, then rain, rain, and more rain as we headed along the coast of California into Oregon.
We packed light, as the amount of space our bodies took up in a 34-foot RV was considerable, but having a rain jacket, a warm coat, and a few t-shirts was perfect for every weather encounter. Starting at the bottom of California and working our way up and staying a few nights under the stars and rocks in Joshua tree was the boys' favorite adventure.
We celebrated the New Year in the deep forest of the redwoods, caught our first glimpses of seals and whales playing in the freezing waters of the Pacific, and dug our hands into the rich, wet soil to plant many gardens alongside our friends on the farm.
Discovering Oregon was not on the actual plan, yet a place I have found my wild and plan to stay for a long little bit.
Mary Oliver wrote a poem titled Wild Geese. I read this at the beginning of our journey and I read it now with a whole new sense of truly being and becoming WILD forevermore.
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.