The title may be a tad misleading… There is a river, but no one’s running 🤣I do ride my bike beside the Colorado, though.
As our camping group breaks apart bit by bit, the pace slows considerably. As folks move on, more arrive. Sometimes we have visitors for a few hours and then they mosey on. This has been a great camping group, many of whom I met at the PAR TR a few weeks ago. We had a great 70s night, with disco ball and all, and many nights at the fire on one side of the camp or the other. S’mores were a big hit each time the fixings made an appearance. And, as always, the digeridoo playing was soothing and enjoyable .
I’ve spent several days as camp cook, with everyone pitching in something. One Saturday was eggs and sausage, then cookies; Another Sunday was eggs and pancakes, then pizza. Yes, somehow I managed to make edible frozen pizzas on a cast iron griddle and a Coleman stove! Or maybe everyone just lied, lol. But both pizzas were gone so… Maybe not.
The ebb and flow of group camping means the dynamics are always changing, and sometimes rapidly. Personality mixes can go from bad to good and back again in the span of hours or days. As someone used to living a fairly solitary life for the last decade, this can frazzle my ‘mother hen’ side and give me the same worries as I had when I was raising children – is everyone comfortable? Content? The problem is, I don’t control those things. And any attempt to do so is a disaster; these are all grown adults! I am having to learn to just let it go and let things sort themselves out. I am learning to be more observational and less drawn in, while holding on to my empathy. It’s okay to let people be wrong, or go off in a wrong-headed direction. That’s their stuff to learn. I am not the world’s safety inspector!
Nomad life is ever-changing, like the flow of water over and around obstacles. Plans made, plans cast aside, plans dependent on others; one has to have patience or take the reins in hand and drive the plans. I have so many people I’m in touch with, and look forward to seeing again in the future. It truly is a wide-roaming tribe that provides the glow of anticipation as a backdrop to future travels.
The planning has begun for my coastal run in the spring. It changes, re-routes, includes others at times and also allows for some solitude at this point. Of course, all of this, too, could change. Change doesn’t bother me much if I understand the reason.
Work has been hard lately, with overtime now and again. I’ve had some pressing deadlines and been drained mentally at the end of several days. At times I long for the lack of constraints that others have; to be the driver of my own days. I don’t know that those who live this way currently remember always what it is like to not have those options; to be driven by something external to ones self. But it is softened by a delivered cup of coffee, or a meal prepared by others – thoughtfulness. I press on, knowing one day my time will be my own.
Back at the sticks and bricks the weather has been tumultuous and I’m in touch with my neighbors to make sure they are safe. I need to return at some point to take stock, eliminate some obligations and pack into the van seasonal things for rotation. And, divest. I suspect this summer will clarify a lot of things for me in regards to permanent traveling as my continued lifestyle. I cannot, at this point, hardly even entertain a return to my former life. It is a drop in activity only. But I have family, people who wish for my presence at certain points. Management of other’s expectations of me and the conflict with my own desires is a work in progress at this stage. This is a very tough area for me and always has been. There is a dichotomy in my mind – serve and love others, or serve and love myself. Where is that line that one teeters into selfishness? This is the line I’m seeking to define comfortably.
I’m content. But that doesn’t mean there is no mental work to be done at the same time. For today, though, I am happy to just be here and present.
Being lazy on a rainy day on the road…