| New Gear Fear
Im feeling the fear of my new gear. Its trickling in every
day, UPS, Fed Ex, USPS. Pushing into the corners of my safe, stable
life. Beginning to crowd me toward the door, toward the bright sunlight,
the rain, snow, toward long roads or short trails, toward the crisp
line of the horizon. Right smack into the big blank wall of the Great
Unknown. Worse, its my fault.
When I think about it, every day is unknown and unknowable -- until
the proper time. I surround myself with routine, with ritual. I rise,
I eat, I wash, I work, I play. I sleep. Until the drone of the unknown
becomes quiet and consistent and I rarely notice. Even the time I
take each day to stare at clouds, to smell trees full of flowers,
to chase the flight of birds with my eyes, to listen to the crash
of waves, to let the colors of sunset wash over me... Even my daily
sense of awe and wonder becomes stable and regular. Maybe routine.
This bothers me. I resent the stony buildup of regular life. I resist
the wall of jadedness that could keep me from remembering that this
is a big and beautiful planet. Of how little of it Ive seen.
That theres really nothing much to hold me back. I long to be
moving. A deep longing. Similar to the one I had a few months ago:
a longing to stay in one place for awhile. Strange.
Ive been in Kona since September. Floating at first. Then sticking
lightly. Then renewing and making strong connections. This town has
somehow become the place that feels the most like home. Good friends
and companions. Familiar, comfortable surroundings. A mix of opportunity
and challenge. And close to the edge of daily adventure -- of rumbling
volcano, of breathless ocean, crashing surf, black-rock desert, sucking
mud, green-cliff valleys, white sand, deep craters, dark caves, snow-topped
mountains. Of unfurling ferns, fragrant blossoms, towering trees,
wide grassland, cloud forest, thick vines, waving palm trees. Of whales,
dolphins, manta rays, barracudas, bright reef fish, wild pigs, a chorus
of native forest birds, long white-tailed tropic birds, hoary bats,
of pueo, of io. Plus a cast of human characters that would be
the envy of any self-respecting loony bin.
Ah, home. So nice to come back here. So nice to be here. And. So.
Nice. To. Leave.
The connections are strong, but the roots are shallow. Im leaving
forever, but Ill probably be back. Im packing the bike
again. Im heading off somewhere again. I want to experience
new things but I'm not sure what they are. Again.
The new gear has been arriving. Gear to help me do what Ive
learned to enjoy. My trusty digital camera has been beaten, kicked
and strong-armed through about 18,500 pictures. The knobs are wearing
off. I've just replaced it with a new one. Similar size. Newer technology.
Higher zoot. And fairly scary so far.
There are items to make the camera happy, to keep it from the elements.
There is worn luggage that needs to be replaced. There will be some
fresh parts on the bike. There will be a swing through Colorado to
pick up some non-tropical gear and clothing while Im visiting
my Sister, my Dad, my Grandma and the rest of the family. Then Im
Where to? That, of course, remains to be seen. I've tried to give
up predicting the future ever since the disheartening day when I discovered
that the crystal ball Id been gazing into was actually a honeydew
melon. I have an idea of where Im going. But until it happens
its just another possibility in a wild and exciting world of
Ill keep you posted.