A year ago I moved out to a small town in the Columbia River Gorge. My idea behind this move was to 'settle in' and feel at home somewhere. Portland had filled my life with so much joy, but I was was feeling ready to grow some roots in a new small town. I started to build up this house and fill it with stuff. The couches, new dressers, all the kitchen stuff, and art on the walls. I had this idea of what 'home' was and I was trying so hard to make this house feel like home. That house holds a special place in my heart, no doubt, but it was never home. Now, a year later, I have sold the couch, the dresser, the random décor, and moved into my home on wheels. Instead of building roots in this small town, I have finally found my sense of home in the sound of my tires on a dirt road.
I am now constantly on the move. Over the past four months I have driven over 15,000 miles, hit 7 states (some of them twice), and one Canadian province. I have to laugh at myself as I have 'commuted' all of I-84, east and west, more times than I would like to count this summer. But, through all of the miles, I have realized that the emergency pulls off, friends driveways, long dirt roads, Walmart parking lots, and picturesque dispersed lake camping spots, those little pieces of land are my home. I don't stay one place very long these days but I feel more rooted than I have in a very long time.
This past week I was in Bend for a whole week, this is the longest I have hung out in one place for almost four months. I was able to find a little piece of land next to Sparks Lake, in the Deschutes National Forest, to call home for the week and it was pure bliss. Although, as I soaked in my last firey sunrise over the lake, I found myself feeling a bit sad to leave. I realized that I had most definitely put down roots on this lake side dirt road. It felt a bit heavy to leave it. I think this was the first time that I really settled into the feeling of home on the road and even though I was feeling so much joy in that moment, I was sad to leave this special place. I spent a moment settling into this feeling. It was in that moment that I realized that I have officially fully settled into this life on the move. I realized how I have found little slices of home all over those 15,000 miles, those 7 states, and that one Canadian province. I realized it wasn't sadness that I was feeling but an overwhelming sense of home and belonging, a feeling that I have been searching for for years. I realized that the home and belonging that I have been searching for has been with me this whole time. The home and belonging is in the adventure for me, it is the sound of my tires on the road, the glass of wine at sunset, the wind in my dirty hair, bathing in a river, snuggling up with Rhodie off a random dirt road, and the new and old friends across the country. Yes, Sparks Lake felt like home. It was filled with beautiful experiences, lake side wine nights with some of the best friends a girl could ask for, morning runs, and night paddles. This place filled my heart and it is home. But, I am on the move, and I have little slices of home to find on these dirt roads that fill our land.
This realization for me was just another reminder that we all get to create our own journey, create our own sense of home. My sense of home isn't the traditional four walls filled with furniture, my home is something different. But, that is totally okay. We are all different and all on a different path. Find the path that fills you with the sense of belonging and being home!