November 26, 2014 was the day before the US holiday of Thanksgiving and as I sat by the window that evening, a glass of wine in hand, watching the sun set behind the snowy fields, I had no idea what was to come in the next year. Twelve months ago, I had no idea that I would sell everything I’d worked so hard for, for so long – squeezing all that was left into the back of my car – and in twenty-three weeks see more of this country than I’d seen in the 60 years of my existence before. I had no idea that twelve months later the world I saw from my cozy little mobile would be 2,000 miles away … and rather than find myself waiting to share roasted turkey and pumpkin pie with friends, and looking out over evergreens and hills covered by a blanket of white, I’d be strolling by cacti & scrub dusted with sandy red rock, returning ‘home’ to a quiet adobe rental and turkey sandwiches. On November 26, 2014 I had no idea that in exactly two months, 10 minutes would happen that would change my entire life.
Part of what I’m doing here is to share not only the good times and the stories of those I meet, but also some of the challenges and changes – and the crossroads – that have come to my life along the way. I knew when I began this journey that I would lay myself bare to the world, and to myself, as I never had before. And as sit at the dining room table on this Thanksgiving night, grateful for all that has happened in the whirl-wind of a year – for new friends I’ve met and old ones whose friendship has deepened, for those who have become like family, for good health, for the resiliency of finances stretched to the limit that somehow keep going – I find that something in me has changed. For the last 161 days, I have shared the lives of families, couples, singles and singles-but-taken … watching them, listening to them, hearing confessions and secrets late into the night, witnessing their quarrels and their love. They argue out the differences, flesh out the hidden, they sigh and roll their eyes … and then stand together, strong in the unseen, enduring bond they share together. They tell me I am lucky – lucky to have no one to answer to, no one to pick up after, no one to cause tears or heartache or sleepless nights. Divorced for over 25 years, they say I am blessed to have the freedom to travel and go where I will, when I will – and no doubt, I am … I have seen & experienced more than most people ever will. But as I sit here today working at the laptop, the table set for one, and listen vicariously to the laughter of friends who are surrounded by family and loved ones, I wonder … who really is the lucky one?
And as I wash my dish and cup, I send a silent thought to the heavens … perhaps, just perhaps, next year I, too, will join hands in thanks with those I love around a table set for many. Yes, maybe it’s time to consider the possibilities.
And don’t forget, if you’re interested in day-to-day snippets, photos & wanderings, and more of the fun side of this journey, you can find it on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ravensongsride.