On my drive to work every morning I would pass a mid-70’s, metal patched, decaying but very much lived-in trailer many times spray painted midnight blue with an impressive garden growing in big plastic trash bins on the roof. It never moved. I never saw who lived there. I would pass it every day, admiring the urban garden and wondering at who was in there, who was cultivating the most perfectly red tomatoes and vining squash on trailer-top trellises beside a 5 lane road near a highway overpass adjacent to a fairly affluent neighborhood. I admired their spunk and their brazen way of life lived very much publicly as thousands of people drove past their homestead on the road side.
Though I freely admit my admiration of them, I never wished it upon myself. At the time, my urban garden grew in the yard of my cute little house and I could pass that trailer by and then minutes later I would drive past a certain home in Santa Monica that was my dream city home with white fabric flowing in the sea breeze and warm light streaming through so many open windows in the evening. Los Angeles is a city of dichotomy, in your face, almost all of the time.
There we are returning. Before we know it, we’re going to take our little camper life and plop it in a back yard in Venice. If there is a place more full of opposites than this street in Venice, I haven’t been there yet. Its a road of million dollar homes and drug addicted homeless. Its a place with a hundred wonderful memories and yet somewhere I know very little about. And after months of wide blue skies and incredible starry nights, the kind of nights where you hear nothing but distant crickets and your own breathing, I think this might be a bit of a shock.
Why? Why, you ask, would we trade in the solitude and skies for the views and sounds of power lines above? Because we know it better than anywhere else. For now, though stuffed full of people and the evidence of all of their lives, LA is home. It’s where we can get reconnected and where, if we’re lucky, we can make a tiny dent and carve out something that is bigger than just the two of us in a camper in the middle of nowhere. It is the opposite of nowhere and, I can also freely admit, its scary. And big. And its been a while.
By mid-December we will have been in transition, out of our cute home with the white picket fence and the garden happily growing, for two years. (If you need that story, click here & here.) Two years of saying goodbye, then hello again, then goodbye and now hello... again. Two years of trail and error, of amazing memories and of building friendships and uncovering gumption, living in the pull of our own polarity and finding our way.
We get to take the camper off of the truck and not have our house with us every-single-place-we-go. We’re going to pick up our bikes and pump up the tires and ride with the wind in our faces and not use gas! We get to see our friends and if I touch your face like Hellen Keller its because its real and not on a screen! We get to hold the babies and hug the brides! And we will also miss our new and rekindled friends from this trip.
Never satisfied. Because we always live in that contradiction, the wonder if we’re doing the right thing, it pushes our boundaries and drives our curiosities. I call it “putting all the eggs in all the baskets”. When we land in LA, we’ll keep trying everything until something sticks. Its just in our nature to discover and we are learning to be satisfied with where we are. To push and to pull and to work and to learn but to be satisfied. There is no right thing, there is just the thing. And for us, the thing is, we have so many good memories and so many good people. We wouldn’t change or trade our story for anyone else and we’re really looking forward to this next chapter.
See you in LA!