We leave Kentucky in two weeks, and there’s been some thick deja vu in the air. Something about wrapping up and engineering job and heading west with all our crap definitely rings a bell… Oh right, this is the third time we’ve danced this jig in one form or another. Kind of funny that M is now about the same age that T was when we originally set out from Denver to WWOOF in 2011. T has fared pretty well considering we essentially strapped him on a bucking bronco for his first five years. M has only ever lived in the same house he was born in, so I’m not sure what effect this next move will have on him. I hope one day they can both look back, probably after a good quantity of therapy, and realize that we did all this for a worthy reason. A reason that we hope will ultimately improve their world, our world. I suppose only time will tell.
When we left Denver, we knew we were seeking something other than what we had, but couldn’t articulate it exactly. And ever since, we’ve been working on gathering the pieces to the cloudy picture puzzle that existed only in our minds, one that has slowly become more and more clear. I imagine by the time we set foot on our own soil after driving across the country (again) the image will be coming in 3D, IMAX style. I might cry. I might hug the nearest tree. Or I might just roll around like a wet dog in the nearest field. I know I will dance with the boys despite their objections, I know I will have to pee, and I know I will fall madly in love with the place. That is for certain.
It’s been tricky business building that puzzle with two individualistic builders and no box cover to compare to. It takes a while to decide what those pieces look like, and then figure out where/how/when to gather them, and then how to put the damn thing together. The complexity of agreeing on a vision, gathering the experience to confirm the vision, and gathering the resources to secure the vision is enough to make you just want to crumble if you think about it all at once. And we did sometimes. In hindsight, all our steps could be neatly rationalized as a logical prescription to obtain said goal. And it was sometimes. But I’m not going to blow smoke up anybody’s butt: in the trenches, mayhem ensues.
I realize that I am lucky to have paired with someone who would mix things up with me this way because E and I didn’t marry under these pretenses. We’re not one of those adorable couples who met while farming so that’s just what we do (seems way romantic to me); farming was nowhere on the horizon when we joined forces. So to bring a life with a lot of momentum (kid, car payment, house, careers, even a dog) to a halt, throw it in reverse and choose a different path has a way of testing your collective sanity and resilience. I had a hunch about E very early on, and maybe that was it. Not only would he hold on for a crazy ride, he’d grab the wheel with me. And being on the cusp of realizing what we’ve been working toward feels a bit surreal – we’ve got the pre-bungee jump jitters.
Thankfully, there’s something that makes this third westerly expedition a little more mature than the others: we actually know our destination. That is deeply comforting, as mature decisions tend to feel warm and fuzzy when there are kids in the backseat. We are not still in Search mode (it’s like 6th gear in the old Outback, I swear). We are all excited with the anticipation of chewing on the enormous bite we just took. I know that at some point our idealism piñata will burst with blood, sweat, and tears, but when it does we’ll pick up the pieces for each other and stuff them back in so we can have another go. That blood, that sweat, and those tears will be hard-won and beloved.