Home in the Forest

The last five or six years of my life have been a whirlwind of big adventure, love, losses and deep compromise. With on-going mini adventures to hold us over through the lulls in life, meaningful work and much sacrifice, my partner and I minimized our lives to save for a natural place to build and call home. 

Minimizing came easy, as living out of solely what could be carried upon my back became my grounding spirit. I sure miss those months-on-end long adventures meandering through the wild terrain of sprawling deserts, across rushing rivers, up and over mountain peaks, passes and wild flower blanketed meadows. Spaces along the western continental divide inspirited by the presence of black and grizzly bear, mountain sheep, pumas and more.

As many miles as I have traversed the wilds afoot, those wanderings still sound the beat of my heart as the rushing river of blood that keeps my truest spirit alive. The relationship is a oneness like no other — something not yet realized by all, yet is at the source of who we all are, the true core of the human spirit.

While “home” on the surface has taken many forms in my life, an unbroken thread remains strung between the inner knowing I had as a young girl to the present. The sense of who I am, I now realize, has never changed despite prevailing superficial realities. The spirit of the experiences trudging up high peaks to reach the greatest of rewards of Nature’s gifts across diverse and wondrous wildscapes fold into even the most mundane of days, and remains inseparable from me. 

Even while this remains my truth, my partner and I still experience days of almost excruciating lull, periods when our dreaming becomes incessant paired by our restlessness. Perhaps too, these dulling moments are exacerbated by a lack of practice in being fully present. I know this is also true. 

Reality sets the tone for recent years as we find ourselves on a new life path. We needed desperately to find a place to call home. I knew what I wanted, but together we wrote down our vision: A wild and natural space surrounded by nearby trails and plenty of access to public lands; a peaceful space without intrusion of rampant noise pollution was a must, and nights with little to no light pollution would be an extraordinary plus.  

We knew this space was to become our “home base”. There, for when hustling to earn money and adventure waxed and waned. It was to be our middle ground, but more than that too—the curving line which divided the yin from the yang— a zone of living, contentment, planning and dreaming.

At first, the forested land that crossed our path was dismissed. We thought it was too cleared of trees, too tailored and trimmed—not wild enough, at least the photos on the realtor site gave us that impression. 

On a whim, he asked if I wanted to go see it. Our hearts had been beaten down by too many lost and out-of-reach opportunities of places we thought were right for us. I went along, numbly. 

We veered off the paved road of the scenic byway and followed a meandering dirt road through ponderosa forest until we reached the unmarked gate. An enormous realtor sign leaned forgotten against the failing rusted barbed wire fence. We parked, looking out toward a too-good-to-be-true view of forest through the truck window. As soon as we hopped the gate, we were met with an overgrown grassy driveway in. The drive meandered its way gradually down a dreamy tunnel of trees to a stunning open clearing and mountain views decorated with unique rock outcroppings. Too good to be true, I think again to myself. Decidedly, I had locked away any emotions. As I looked on nonchalantly to the obviously over-the-top beauty of it all, my partner expressed himself outwardly smitten.

I was giving up control and allowed what-ever there was to be un-fold. Then he declared in a serious we should do this kind of voice  “I think we should talk to the realtor. Right now.” I couldn’t believe it. 

Keeping aligned with the agreement I made with myself before the visit, my emotions remained stowed away as we drove to the realtor’s office. 

I will always wear my sense of home on my back, but here was an opportunity that neither of us had ever thought was possible. Every box on our list of wants was checked. Natural and wild, check! Plenty of gardening space for a food forest, check! Nearby trails, peaceful, dark night skies, check, check and check! The bonus was that our new forest home was also surrounded by public land with incredible views. It was more than we could have asked for. Nearly a month after talking to the realtor, we found ourselves standing in the middle of a dream come true. We found ourselves home.  

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