It’s not that we haven’t had community while we’ve been here, but you can imagine the difference between community with long held friends and the local residents of a foreign country. Two types of community that are both precious and necessary in their own ways. Last week we both greeted and bid farewell to these polarized versions of the same concept. We left La Luna to travel Ecuador with our friends from Arizona. Tears were shed as we said goodbye to La Luna, a place that has played a very special role in our lives. The familial staff of La Luna has become close to us, especially for Rio, who has adopted them as his surrogate aunts, uncles and cousins. The fields and roads and trails of the place have become as familiar as some of our old walks back in the states, and Rio had noticeably gotten comfortable with thinking of our rooms as home. Still, we couldn’t help but feel excited has we jumped in the back of a truck with our friends from AZ to make our way to the bus station. These are friends that we have history and story with, friends with whom we very readily looked foreword to traveling with. We have already created new bazaar and beautiful stories with them since they arrived, and we still get another week together. It really could not be a better transition to our move back to Arizona and gratitude fills our hearts. Gratitude towards being enriched by so many different positive versions of community. I´d have to say humbled as well since it doesn´t seem like there is anything you can do to deserve a positive community. I guess in that way we have had a profound experience with the grace of God.
As we packed up all of our material possessions the tensions of being homeless started to unpack, in subtle curious ways. Transition is always a bitter sweet time in life, as you say good bye to people and places that have impacted your life and look forward in hope to new people and memories. This specific type of transition that we are facing has unique challenges of its own. Such as, not having jobs lined up or not having a specific place to call home. In the last week I have noticed that every time someone is talking about work there is a little longing in the back of my mind. A little voice saying, “oh stability, routine, consistency, that sounds nice”. There is some provider/father instinct in me that resists transitioning to the nomadic.
This is the subtle curious voice. The louder, obvious voice that empowers us to move forward is the voice of our tribe. As far as I know there is not a nomadic community that doesn’t travel without their tribe, even in the animal kingdom. The reason for that is what I’m learning: nothing happens without community. Community, even writing the word kind of bothers me. It is such a buzz word these days, people describe community like a hipster barista describes a pour over, using words that sound really nice like, floral, honey notes with a tinge of kiwi. Well, our tribe is far from honey and kiwi, to be honest it would probably take an entire anthropology department to figure the nuances of our tribe. It’s patched together across states and countries by social media, generosity, and fond memories. But it exists nonetheless, and it’s a powerful enabling force.
So, while routine and consistency will probably elude us in the next few months, stability will not. Being nomadic creates a vulnerability that helps to reveal how dependent on our tribe we really are, it gives feeling and emotion to something that is to often silenced by the volume of self-sufficiency. I’m confident that this phenomenon created by being nomadic happens in other ways as well. In fact there are countless ways it can take place in our lives. It happens during weddings, it happens when a child is born or when someone is suffering an illness, it happens when fortune or misfortune strike. These are all catalysts, but all that is really needed is an invitation. It’s humbling, sure, and awkward at times, but no one is complaining. There is a positive anticipation for the impact that experience will have on the tribe, stories are being created, stories are being shared, and nothing in life is much more exciting then that.