Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Wandering Spirit???

It was over a cold brew and a good conversation with my two favorite bachelors that I first explored the concept of a "wandering spirit." At that point in time, I was one year out of college and trying to survive my second year of teaching in a tiny mountain town (less than 500 folks big) nestled in the Tobacco Root Mountains.

That night, we were sitting in my friend's weaving studio, located on a two-block main street that looked like it came straight out of a magazine from the 1950s. We were trying to solve the problems of the world and were shaking off the last part of a long week. Soon the conversation drifted off to different types of people and thier personalities. We eventually decided that there should be a category of personalities named "the wandering spirits" and that the three of us would definitely fall into it.

Now, I don't remember the original definition that we came up with-- there was a lot of brew involved that night-- but I do remember that we thought the term did a really good job of describing us and how we ended up in this little one-horse-town west of the Mississippi. I also remember really liking the term and connecting to it. It somehow gave me a sense of peace about myself, a sense of belonging, and it reminded me of the wanderlust that carried me so many miles from home.

Now, two years later, I find myself somewhere new (go figure), and missing those Friday night happy hours with my fellow wandering spirits. I miss those deep conversations about life, love, and happiness. I miss playing "brain-pong" with some of the locals, listening to stories from those who had seen and done far more than me, and I really miss being surrounded by the idea of having to "make our own culture" to survive some of the tougher moments of small-town life. Those moments helped me feel whole and connected when feeling whole and connected seemed impossible. Those moments also taught me a great deal about what is really important and what's not. And, of course, they reminded me to have fun.

In an effort to pay tribute to my fellow wandering spirits, other dear friends, and to the lessons learned during the magical time I spent in that little mountain town, I've decided to create this blog. I'm also hoping it will serve as a reminder to me of what's really important and that it will help sustain the wanderlust, independence, and spontaneity that has become so central to my being.

1 comment:

Don said...

Brain-pong? I like it. I followed a link from Saphron's page over here, and I've read a half dozen of your musings. I can see why she came, and came back. I will too. (I grew up in CA, but I'm from Mason City. I have Iowa in my cultural DNA. And that's a good thing!)