Greetings and happy adventureversary.
June 27th is the one-year mark for Cody and LM’s wild ride. On this date in 2017 we signed the papers on the sale of our home and hit the road in search of ourselves. The journey of discovery took longer than we anticipated, in fact, it is still going.
I really wish I had a simple list of all of the things I had learned on this voyage from Toad Hall to the edge of the continent. I don’t though. What I have instead is a renewed investment in the continuing adventures of the Hyslop family, and maybe an ever so slightly broader sense of my own place in the world. There is also a strong possibility that I have not gained any understanding of any kind and am just happy by the beach . . . and that is okay.
The wide, wide world is a strange place. I get up in the morning and get ready to head to work like I have most of the days of my adult life. I return emails, answer calls, complete the tasks at hand and then do the next thing. This is a longstanding familiar pattern for me. And yet there is a hint of newness about it all. The faintest glimmering light on the horizon that’s always changing, too far away to make out but undeniably present.
I look at photographs of those bronzed explorers walking the beaches of last summer and find their faces full of hope and excitement and abject terror of the unknown. They are just a little wild eyed at the onslaught of big boats and old trains and endless days in motor cars. It looks to all the world like they have cast off the weight of the manor house and charged full on into the wild without tether or compass.
But I suppose that is the beauty of photographs. They are two dimensional. A single cell in the animation of the moment. Here are our travelers messing about in boats. This is them dancing in the salt mist of the ocean spray. Here they are among the weasels and stoats in the wild wood. This is those same fearless souls petting a shark. Here we see that they are lost and searching, adrift. There is a shift in their eyes here, it looks as though they have seen the sun rise and heard the piper’s song. Here they gather to feast in celebration of their grandest adventure yet.
So, amid the hoopla and toodo of it all, it is only natural to look back fondly and laugh a little. To find humor in confidence and ignorance of these pretenders to the throne of normality. To smile and nod at the faces frozen in a moment. The ones that thought they had come to the end of a road and began again anew.
The reality of this moment is that, we are not anywhere near the end of our wild ride. Rather, we are just now securely on the launch pad. The first part of this roller coaster was up and up and up. Now we have sat for a while on the long slow curve at what is but the first summit. There is to come, the down and around and over and through. There will be breakneck speeds that would dizzy even Mr. Toad in his motorcar and few long languid rests enjoyed by Badger in his den. But for certain there is much more adventure ahead, good and bad, comforting and frightening, beautiful and strange.
We are just beginning to look for the next Casa de Hyslop in which we can huddle together and ride out the storm. Like all seasoned adventurers we know that sometimes the greatest moments come off the beaten path, away from the charted or prescribed. It is exciting and terrifying to consider that we are temporarily plateaued rather than planted. Our roots are new and green but well nourished and ready to thrive in a plot we sow ourselves.
Here where the forest meets the sea we are temporarily at rest and ready to actively carve out our new normal. On this our first adventureversary, we’d like to say thank you so much to those of you who have ridden along. We appreciate your love, support and readership. Here is to another fine year of exploration and adventure at the edge of all that we know, and beyond.
“All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.”
~ Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows