July 17, 2010

23 feet: Are our blessings taken for granted?

Thank our lucky stars

Recently around a campfire, the conversation turned to the state of the world, as campfire conversation is bound to do. We six young and healthy friends argued, raised our voices and felt the blood rise in our cheeks. Our muscles were sore from a day spent climbing in a beautifully formed crag in Utah, and it felt good to sit and rest our bones.

Allie, Greer and I would eventually grow tired and sleep safely in our beloved Airstream, just a short walk away from our friends’ campsite, taking care in one another’s company, and the next morning we would enjoy hot breakfast and strong coffee.

That night I was reminded, as I have been many times before, how easy it is to take our blessings for granted. We sat and talked about the government and the environment and how the security blankets of our youths have turned ragged and moldy, realizing the gaping holes woven into their very design. We voiced our own, individual opinions, free to speak as radically as we pleased. How lucky we were to sit, lucky as ducks and happy as clams, in a beautiful, free, open space, and agree to disagree.

As the scenery changes around me and I watch sandstone melt into green fields and green fields into coastal desert, I am marveling again at how lucky we are to be doing this. Molten angst might threaten to fill in the cracks and craters in the American landscape, but I see that they remain.

Making the choice to engage in what is essentially homelessness has given me an interesting perspective, and I wonder now about every lonesome traveler on the side of the road. Indeed it is the choice in the choice to live simply that we are really investigating, the decision to live under one’s means. And we’re being taught about choices, about excess— about what it means to be a human in our day and age.

We are being shown again and again by the people we’ve met on the road that joy can be found in the smallest things. A wholesome meal shared under mountain stars, an unexpected kindness in the heat of the day. We’ve traveled through four states already, and one of the most magnificent gifts I’ve been given was the accidental witnessing of a sunset in the Mojave Desert. Our engine had threatened explosion, and for hours we were stranded on the side of the road, surrounded by Joshua trees and distant mountains. The sun blazed under the horizon, we were alone, and my heart felt quiet, open as the desert sky.

We have been blessed with good attitudes, friends to lean on and a wide open expanse of beautiful land to roam. Good people have trusted us with their stories. Let’s remember how lucky we are. Let’s sit around campfires with friends, travel our country when we can and create opportunities for ourselves. Let’s be grateful for what we’ve been given.

A fledgling earth child and reincarnated rock-star, Lisa celebrates being alive in the yoga studio, on the dance floor, and with the company of friends. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Idaho, and looks forward to returning to the Pacific Northwest this summer onboard the 23feet Airstream. Forever on the verge of swooning from all the beauty in this world, she aims to capture some of that in her writing. She has been known to work a sentence for a whole hour, searching for the prettiest verb.

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