I got home at 2:30 this morning, after thirteen-and-a-half hours of driving from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. There were trees. There were fields. But all I saw was home approaching. Way after dark, the freeway narrowed to one lane each way, with miles of orange pylons showing the way for Scarlet and my tailgating semi-trailer friend. I grabbed the wheel hard and then saw the futility of such behaviour. Let go, Bruce. Hold life lightly.
And I do hold my trip with tenderness. All the astonishing people I met or remet. All the cool conversations. What does it all mean? Well, one thing it means is that I’m meant to be around human beings, rather than retreating to a monastery for endless bliss. I’m meant to learn from my fellow orbiters on the planet Earth. To see their beauty and their pain and to accept it all. And I’m meant to boldly go where I have not gone before, within both the interior and exterior landscapes.
In eleven days, I begin a long period of silence in Massachusetts. I’ll be surrounded by 100 fellow retreatants. What will I offer them, as we each reach towards the deeper meanings of life? I don’t know. The journey of connection will continue. Last month’s mountains and prairie and next month’s fields and woodlots will be equally marvelous, but will pale in comparison to the human souls who will dance across my stage.
It’s such a privilege to be out and about. Sadly, the second season of my travels will not be accompanied by nightly blog posts. Just me and my body, me and my soul. But I will reach you somehow.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my six-week road trip. I couldn’t have done it without you. Stay with me for part two, please.