so, just about a month ago, we moved out of our place, put everything in storage, and took off on a camping trip to explore some places that we thought might be right for us to set up on a new life.
we drove into virginia, north carolina, and returned through west virginia and pennsylvania. we checked out charlottesville, staunton, blacksburg, asheville, the north carolina coast, chapel hill, and morgantown, wv.
we found out that many wonderful things are happening in those communities. we visited natural food coops, farmer's markets, listened to live music all over asheville, talked to people who shared their stories of relocating and finding a home. we watched people dance at sunset at a bluegrass concert (and i watched and ached to be a part of a community sharing summer and music and that moment). we swam in lakes and streams and waterfalls and rivers and oceans. we dealt with many sudden cloudbursts and dried ourselves out and packed and unpacked and kept going.
we got exhausted from the constant camping and got a hotel room one night which was such a relief.
one day as we started out driving our car started making a terrible noise and we were filled with dread. but only an hour later, we were all ready to go again. we met a man checked the problem, and then gave us directions to a muffler shop. there we met another man formerly from nj who welded back the exhaust pipe (right behind the catalytic converter) where it had rusted right through. for a mere $20.
and we were filled with the joy of being helped by such friendly folks.
the funny thing is...that i don't think we found our home.
and it's hard not to give in to fear and dread, to come to the end of the trip and not have it turn out like we wanted it to. i envisioned our transition period being short and neat and soon having a new little apartment to call home, in a perfect town where we'd both work satisfying jobs in artistically supportive or community conscious businesses.
but i think maybe we want to not move as far from our roots (here) as we originally thought.
and i'm holding onto faith and hope that we can find what we both need to flourish. for now, the exercise is expressing what it is that we both desire for ourselves, what live we would like to be living. it's something that can only become clear with time. and there is a part of me that feels relieved at not uprooting myself completely from this area, which i've called home for 6 years now.
so for now we are living with family and starting a new round of research and looking and also lots of talking about what it is we would like to build together.