Perhaps it’s fitting that we left Bend through a haze of smoke. My new favorite word is “coddiwomple,” which means “to travel with purpose toward an unknown destination.” Our destination is undetermined, and the journey is still blurry. We have a general route outlined; we kick around various ideas for ways to make money; we both dream of grand trail running escapades but neither of us know when we’ll actually be able to run again; we want to reach out and build a community but our pesky introversion gets in the way; we are committed to improve diet and health, if there weren’t so many taco stands to tempt us. Hazy ideas to match those hazy days.
300 miles later we have not escaped the smoke though I find it easier to breathe than in Bend. The last few weeks have been stressful, suffocating, choking. Oregon fires have made it impossible to enjoy being outdoors and last minute planning, working, and visiting with family and friends has left me feeling overly anxious to just get the hell out. So despite these gray skies in ID, breathing more easily is a step.
For the last ten years I’ve been purging, minimizing, letting go of obligations that don’t suit me, but today I wake up in a ski resort parking lot with even less material crutches than ever. No crappy job. My beloved compact utilitarian car is gone. Many of the silly pieces of clothing I’ve been a nit too attached to sold, donated or boxed. Two bikes I’ve ridden for the last ten years replaced with one that I’m not even sure I can handle. It feels good, mostly, to let go of these physical distractions, although the job and car do offer some sense of security. The real test of vulnerability will be to also purge all the stories, self-limiting beliefs and excuses I’ve hoarded for forty two years.
My purpose on this undetermined, hazy odyssey is to leave all this smoke behind and uncover a clear sense of myself. What brings me joy, what connections can I make and what is essential to my true Self. Meanwhile, today my new mountain bike is begging to get dirty and there are new trails eagerly waiting to be explored…