Entries in timing (1)


Day 365: One year ago today...

Today (September 5th) marks the one-year anniversary since we left our house to live in our trailer. I roll out of bed for a run before it is fully light. The sun rises red into a thick haze of smoke from nearby forest fires. Back inside, I light the stove to boil water, assemble the same breakfast we have most mornings, eat without ceremony. The list of things to do today is mostly maintenance—getting ready to leave the "base camp" of Tom's parents’ house and head out on the road again: condition our dry leather boots, treat the plastic skylights to keep them from degrading in the sun, cut some new scrap wood for support under the trailer stabilizers, buy tent cord for our new awning.

I think back to what I was doing a year ago. Packing our belongings in the trailer. Putting both kayaks on the truck for the first time. Cleaning out the garage at our house for the renters. Driving away with that dissociated feeling of not having a house to call “home” for the first time since…well, really, ever.

Now the way we are living just feels ordinary. So ordinary that some days it is actually hard to remember what it was like to live in a house. In fact it all feels so ordinary that without the calendar, I wouldn't know today was meaningful.

I was disappointed at first that this day felt so anticlimactic, as I have had one eye toward it for months. But then I realized that today wasn’t actually a real milestone. We decided a long time ago that we weren’t ready to settle down again after a year, so while this is the 365th day since we drove away from the house, nothing is actually ending or beginning on this day.

More relevant milestones were when we arrived back at the farm in Spokane in June (returning to something familiar after so many new experiences.) Or arriving in Salem on August 12 (our last planned destination.) Or the total solar eclipse, which has always been the one thing on this trip with an exact, non-negotiable time. Even the day about a week ago when the moon was the same phase as when we left somehow felt more significant to me than today.

And right now, all of our attention is on preparing to leave town soon and head toward the Oregon coast. Winky has been refurbished and repaired, we have overhauled our equipment, and we are focused on moving on, not on the completion of the year.

So our one-year anniversary passes without much more fanfare than a toast at dinner. But I trust that the changes this year has brought about in us are happening inside, and like all things in nature, will emerge when they are finished, regardless of the date on my calendar. Meanwhile, we will just keep on living…