Where It All Started

 “Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have first-hand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and the bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”

– Mark Jenkins –

My five year old body squats in the dusty road, leading to our house. The sand, in the dappled shade of the row of trees, lining the road, is soft and cool on this hot summer’s day. Next to me, my mother is showing me how to make baby footprints by balling my hand into a fist, and then pressing the bottom part gently down to create a print. Her forefinger marks the sand to create five tiny toes. I copy her movements, creating a miniature row of footprints walking down the road.

Little did I know that in that moment I was drawing an image of my future life. I have come a long way since my five year old self looked into my mother’s green eyes, and saw my whole world reflected there.

When I now walk on the farm, where I spent the first thirteen years of my life, and my oldest brother and his son still farm, I am reminded of the past in flecks of memory, drifting aimlessly and randomly, across my inner world. In those moments, I feel more discomfort than comfort, as it is mostly memories filled with unease that clutter my mind.

For most of my life I had a nagging feeling of not belonging. Of a yearning towards something else. And it was only when I met my husband and started travelling more, that it has quieted down. In its place, a sense that I am where I’m supposed to be, has erased that nameless longing. Or perhaps it has only settled like the muck at the bottom of a pond, when the water is motionless, as being in one place for too long, often stirs up what has been quiet for a while. To this, travel is the only antidote . . . .