“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ~ Henry Miller
Have you always lived in one place or do you love the excitement of moving from one place to another? Perhaps you’ve thought of relocating, if only to the next town or county.
Nomadic tribes relocate according to the seasons and the cycles of the moon, choosing new pastures suitable for the provisions of food and water, adequate shelter for housing, and resources to earn a living. This lifestyle leaves little trace of their temporary existence.
In Hopi tradition, the coming of March was named “the moon of the whispering wind,” a term that evokes spring and new beginnings.
Do these fundamentals apply to us all? Can we too change bases with the unfolding seasons?
Have you ever been tempted by the thought of moving just for the hell of it? Think about how liberating that would be!
Staring at myself in the bathroom mirror one late Saturday afternoon, just before my 30th birthday, I thought about my life and the direction it was taking. A single ray of sun from the skylight cut across my face.
I was aware of how young I still was, and aware of how capable as a human being I was too. The simple acknowledgment of these two facts was a blessing.
I’d recently split up from a long-term relationship, sold my house, and was living in a temporary home with a short-term lease. I was in a low-paid role for a recruitment agency that was coming to an end, and most of my friends and colleagues were settling down, getting married, and having children.
In my kitchen, I had a postcard purchased from the Brontë Museum fixed to the fridge. It read:
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.” ~ Charlotte Brontë
I considered the words daily, thought of the little bit of money I’d made from the house sale, and realised I had options.
I wasn’t tied to anyone or anything. I had nothing to prove and the world was my oyster—at least it would be if I embraced the thought.
Why would I need to stay in one place? Of course, I had the usual commitments, the weddings and christenings to attend, the birthdays and funerals. But everyone around me was healthy and had their own lives.
Above all, no-one depended on my presence. I depended on no-one. I wasn’t particularly happy in my small town and rented house. I knew few people there. I waved daily at a neighbour who occasionally waved back. I knew the area well, but so what? It wasn’t my homeland, and it didn’t feel like home.
I thought about nomadic tribes that exist with minimal material objects and a felt sense of impermanence. I sat down and began to write.
Question: If I could go anywhere, where would it be?
Answer: It would have to be picturesque. A hamlet or a village, maybe. By the mountains or the sea.
Q: What type of house would I want to live in?
A: It would have to be a delightful cottage with a garden, with birdsong and sunshine!
Q: When did my lease on the house end?
A: In two months. Plenty of time to pack and downsize. Yes, I’d enjoy that!
Q: What about finding work?
A: I had my car. I could live within driving distance of anywhere I chose.
Q: When could I leave my current job?
Q: What about my family and friends?
A: They could visit if they wanted. They’d be dying to, in fact!
Although I didn’t know it at the time, this was the first stamp on my metaphorical passport.
I have since embraced my nomadic lifestyle. I wrap myself around the cycles of the moon, existing in harmony with her, and I simply adore the illumination, the vigor, the fresh face of change.
Through change, we release what we no longer require to create space for new beginnings to emanate in the springtime of our evolving path. The experience and reward from each new pasture is enough. A new way of seeing the journey.
I’ve moved around a lot, and sometimes rarely long enough to register on the electoral roll, but I’ve always found work, and I’ve made friends along the way.
I certainly wouldn’t change the varied experiences I’ve had or the people I’ve lived and worked with that have contributed to my personality with emotion, sentiment, perspective, and reflection. I wouldn’t have found this had I stayed in one place.
A friend, who has remained in one place, suggests that I am “searching for something” and a family member once stated that my nomadic lifestyle is “unsettled.”
Knowing that you are always with you, wherever you go, is the most important thing. A nomadic lifestyle isn’t running away. If you feel at one with the now and with yourself, you are simply relocating with the whispering wind.
When we are at dis-ease with a place, we have essentially already moved away from it. Being at home and at ease with oneself can happen anywhere in the world. Provided our personal requirements are met, we can change base, even if it is simply for the hell of it.
If you embrace the idea of “Nomad Land as your Home Land,” the world is your oyster.
Author: Shelley Dootson-Greenland
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Travis May