I just finished reading the first of the Little House books to Van. I’ve never read them myself (shocking to those of you who know me well), so I’m probably even more excited to be reading them than he is. As I turned to the last page, I came across this gem: “She thought to herself, ‘This is now.’ She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the fire-light and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.”
Reminds me to appreciate where we are right now, even if we don’t know where we are going to be next month. And to all of you out there who know exactly where you are going to be living next month, rejoice in the clarity. We are living this way by choice at the moment, but there are many, many, many people out there that are not. I cannot imagine the stress of not having a stable home, especially in the winter months. It is my hope that once I have a home, I can make life for those in the community with a home or who are “house-insecure” a little more comfortable and secure.
Every so often I pull out the little brown notebook I carry around with me and make a list. Usually it’s a ‘to do’ list filled with things that need to be done now (mail thank you notes), things that needed to be done yesterday or last year or two years ago (buy wedding rings), and things that I’d like to do but know I’ll keep adding to the next hundred ‘to do’ lists I make (finish making scarf). But then, there’s the other ‘to do’ list. These goals are a bit more ambitious, a bit less likely to be crossed out anytime soon, and a bit more likely to feed the soul rather than my family. It is an entry on one of these lists that led me to the name of this blog.
About a dozen years ago I ventured up to Alaska with twenty or so other travelers. Having never met before, we shared a 1969 converted bus as our home away from home. Unless we were driving through the night, we usually camped out in our tents. I’ve been camping since I was a wee one, but I’d never been camping for a month straight. By the end of that month I was dirtier, more carefree, and a lot more in tune with nature. Just like I can usually tell you what day of the week it is when I wake up in the morning, during that month I could tell you the phase of the moon and how much moonlight we could expect later that night. I didn’t do anything special to follow the phases of the moon. Instead, I lived closer to nature and it just happened. Since then, it’s been a goal of mine to begin living closer to the natural rhythms of our world, to always know the phase of the moon and whether I need to carry a flashlight to close the barn door at night. Of course, put aside the fact that I don’t have a barn door to close at the moment.
Moonlight is ephemeral. Nature’s rhythms are just that – rhythms. Nature is not static. To live in closer harmony with nature’s rhythms, I need to live mindfully in the present; I need to live in nature. And while I’m not audacious enough to think that I can bottle moonlight for consumption later, I’m just audacious enough to think that I can bottle moonlight if I’m fully present right now. This blog will give me the opportunity to share my family’s experiences as we travel around this beautiful country, sleep beneath the stars, trade our central air for warm breezes, lose the day of the week but gain the phase of the moon, and try our hand at bottling moonlight.