It’s 6:00 am and I am up before everyone, including the sun. This is good. I savor the sound of a silent house, the space to think clearly for a spell. I sit down at the dining table with my coffee and look out the window. It’s snowing. Not a blizzard this time, just a slow, steady fall. The pretty kind of snow that sparkles in the porch light and outlines the world in white. The stuff of winter wonderlands.
I’ve been wanting a snow like this here on Cape Cod. The two blizzards during our time here were exciting and resulted in a lot of snow, but not the pretty kind that laces the trees. I’ll take photos today. One last opportunity to try to capture the unique beauty of a place.
Place. It’s a strange concept to me this year. Living as nomads with most of our worldly belongings in storage, we don’t really have a place of our own. Our home is where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.
When I think of all of the places we’ve been and all of the places we could go, I get the same sense of crazy abundance that I get when I step into a library and see shelf after shelf of books. “This is all for me?! I can just take any of these books and use them as if they were my own?” Only it’s, “This is all for us?! We can just live in all of these places as if they were our own?” That’s what we’ve done this year. We’ve borrowed places like you borrow books from a library.
And it’s been incredible. There’s so much diverse beauty that you witness when you travel—in nature, in people, in communities. Each place is unique and wonderful in its own way. We’ve experienced big cities, small towns, oceans, mountains, palm trees, pine trees, battlefields, lighthouses, waterfalls, and countless gorgeous sunsets—all while working and learning and grocery shopping and outgrowing clothes and celebrating birthdays and all of that normal daily life stuff.
I’ve loved this trip SO much. I think the opportunities we’ve had have been well worth it. But we’ve also missed some important aspects of normal daily life. Regular classes and friends for our kids. Having roots in a community. Knowing the best place to buy groceries. I’ve often pondered the idea of living a nomadic lifestyle long-term, as I know others who have done so. But at this point, especially with the kids, I think we’ve reached our limit.
I’ve been struggling with that idea, to be honest. Limits are hard for me. I always have difficulty not going over the library item limit. I want to take advantage of that abundance to its fullest extent. And it’s the same with the idea of ending our trip. There so many places to borrow! But limits are there for a reason, at the library and in life. In fact, they can be freeing. If I truly had unlimited access at the library, I’d probably go crazy. Abundance is awesome. Overabundance is oppressive.
And with that realization, a calm starts to crystallize within my wanderlusty heart. While the ability to borrow places has truly been a blessing, having a steady place will be, too. Borrowing library books is not the same as having your own books. There’s something to be said for being able to make notes in the margins and dog-ear pages to your heart’s content. Part of me has been mourning for the freedom we’ll be giving up when we stop traveling and settle down, but now I can see that we’ll just be trading one kind of freedom for another.
The kids are up now, and the snow is still falling steadily. Big, fat flakes that make you want to catch them in your mouth and let them melt on your tongue. Watching the kids’ eyes light up as they notice the snowfall, I am filled with gratitude—not just for the beauty of all that we’ve experienced in our travels, but for the reminder that steady can be beautiful, too. I’m ready for steady.
(Or, I will be after Florida in February. Let’s not be too hasty.) 🙂