The other day I sniffed the air, opened my eyes wide, and leaped…into a world I have always wanted to own.
For years I slept in an ancient army-surplus mummy bag, stuffed with feathers that stuck into your skin and made sleep a chore. It was definitely not waterproof.
Eventually I graduated to a fifth-hand Eureka pup-tent, which I still own. I found it last year when some workers were taking down an old house, and it was stashed away in a corner of the attic. I gave my truly amazing Marmot four-season mountain tent to my son, along with the really excellent down bag I haven’t used in years and years. He does use them. He’s in that part of his life. One day maybe he’ll pass them along to his own daughter or son.
So I, longing to own the road rather than be owned by it, have acquired a small camper van. It has everything I need in it, unlike the barn I have been occupying for the last several years. It has a tiny but functional bathroom, complete with tiny but functional shower. It has a large back seat that converts into a king-size bed. A king-size bed! Maybe I need another dog. Noga would never forgive me, though….that mass of blonde hair is Noga. She’s 13 pounds of fierce.
I have been asking myself, truly, is this the life you want? To purposely NOT have a home? And the answer is always a resounding YES! I need a break. I need a break from fucking everything. To be able to pick up and amble my way to New Mexico, Colorado…Boulder, such an interesting patchwork community….and I want to see the Redwoods. I lived in America for 54 years and never saw the Redwood trees in Northern California! What’s up with that? I guess it just wasn’t time yet.
If you asked me if I plan to be a gypsy for the rest of my life, today I would say no. Tomorrow, who knows? I don’t want to be constrained by time. Geography is a bit of a challenge for me, as I really would rather be gypsying in Israel. That, however, is not only physically impossible, it is outright dangerous at this moment. This breaks my heart. My constitution is not set up for war.
So, no, I have no idea where this is going, where and when and how long it will take me…but it will be a liberation for me, a throwing off of all obligation and responsibility.
I’m already finding others who live on the road–mostly people like myself, who have had enough of working their brains out for–what? A fancy house? Even a not-fancy house? There was a time when a fancy or not-fancy house looked mighty good to me, when I was outside huddling in my not-water-proof feather bag. Now people of my generation are saying good-bye, so long, farewell to permanence, and have formed a loosely knit family of choice, meeting up at campgrounds or by a lake, or any place they choose. I guess we’ve regressed, hit the road again–the Woodstock Generation gone to seed.
I’m going to try it and see what it’s like. I’m a solitary person–this way if I want a little human company, I know where to find it; and if I want solitude, well, that’s everywhere to be had.