So Many Reasons to be Thankful
I’m wrapping up things here in Klamath Falls, Oregon where I have spent the summer. Actually I arrived here at the beginning of April, so I was here for the spring and summer. And it seems like a good time to reflect on this past season.
There were many times, more than I remember, that I felt that coming here was a huge mistake. Work was a major disappointment at the zipline company. I went into debt while waiting for hours to pick up, I trained to be a zipline guide but was stuck doing guest services most of the season. I ended up guiding kayak tours which were great, but limited, and then got thrown back into playing receptionist again. If I had been a young inexperienced worker bee eager to say yes to everything without any sense of reason or boundaries, I may have been a better fit. I am thankful working there pushed me into seeking better for myself. It helped me to remember that I have many talents that have not been utilized in a while, I have grown new confidence in pursuing them, and I am eager to strike out on my own again.
I suffered a grueling hot summer which followed a freezing spring filled with snow that compares to a New England winter, neither of which I was fully prepared for. I had been lured by promises of a cold spring and mild summer. Everyone has claimed this has been a very unusual year. Global warming or whatever, I’m not going to wait around for a fall that will also likely be odd and miserable in some way. As I write this it is 88 degrees F in my bus, when supposedly September is a cooler month. On the up side this season has helped me to be aware of the bus’s and my limitations. Being absolutely cold is miserable; being swelteringly hot is wretched, and I can adapt to some of these conditions, and there are handy tricks that can help deal with extreme cold and heat. But there is also a time when enough is enough. These extremes have helped me to be grateful for good, comfortable weather, even if comfortable for me is still miserable for most. I will also look into a decent heating/cooling for the bus if I am going to be in uncomfortable climates in the future.
The worst part of this whole season was living in almost seclusion. I have been parked in a rural area about forty minutes from town which isn’t the biggest deal until you add up how much it costs to drive in to town for groceries etc. I had hoped to make friends through work like I did last summer and have like-minded people to be outdoorsy with, but lets just say I didn’t really connect with any of them in the same way. And they all live in town. I realize now, how much of a family we all were last summer at AVA Gold Camp, a weird assortment of misfits, but it still felt like a family. (I’ll tell more stories about this later.) Additionally, I have no cell signal where I’ve been parked, but I can bum a wifi signal off my neighbors, but I have to sit outside their house to do so. When I have been at my very worst this season, I couldn’t even call a friend to reach out. But I can still be thankful. These miserable days have encouraged so much growth! I have reconnected with my Creator, the one who is here no matter if I have signal or not. I have reconnected with myself. I used to be my own worst enemy, and now I am my best friend. This all borders on craziness I know, but how can one endure a season like this and not be a tiny bit crazy. But seriously, if it weren’t for my God and my yoga practice I would not have survived.
I am also very grateful for my friends and family who have made an effort to stay in touch with me despite how impossible it has been to reach me, and those who have made themselves available when I have reached out to them. The utter aloneness that I have felt so much this summer makes every connection with the people in my life feel like riches beyond compare. The folks who have been kind enough to let me stay on their property this season, Jim & Mata have become wonderful friends. I don’t know where I would have been without them.
Yes, I am leaving this place sooner than I had originally planned for several reasons. One, I refuse to stay here any longer than is necessary. I can no longer handle being disconnected and secluded. My mental well-being is worth so much more. Two, its time to dust off my skills and talents and share what I can with the world with my writing, yoga, and the abundant creativity God has given me. (Which has been plentiful since following this leading to leave Southern Oregon). Three, there are so many places I still want to see out west and friends I want to visit before winter fully sets in.
And I want to say a special thank you to those who have already blessed me by joining the cause and have given towards this next season. Your generosity really touches me, and helps me to see life is so much more vibrant when we anchor together. I don’t know how this next season will go, but I have no fears facing what can seem like impossibility, I have complete faith and confidence, “Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” Ps. 39:7