Quiet nights beside a cackling fire, warming the air, as we sit in our only moment of silence as Daisy falls asleep in the bus behind us. These times though fewer and fewer as we get into the cold, wet Pacific Northwest are so important to us. These are the moments that we often talk about our plan for the next few days, read books or every couple weeks we take this time to write in our travel journal. This is where we document where we’ve been, who we’ve met, where we stayed. Sometimes it is only in the rearview mirror that you are able to see where your headed. Sitting next to the fire laughing, reminscing, and remembering where we’ve been, reminds us of the importance of looking back. Often we get trapped in the never ending cycle of thinking about the next thing, the next project, the next destination. But in these moments when we pause, we look back at all the change, the things we’ve grown in, the challenges we’ve overcome and we are reminded of what its all about. We can now laugh about the frustrating moments, and forget the stupid stuff and enjoy thinking about the wonderful people, experience and places that our little green bus wandered by.
This is one of the reasons I love having a journal on hand. I think too often we forget to look back and remember where we’ve come from. For a long time (and a little bit still now) I would not ever open a previous journal I had written in. Once the last page was filled, I closed it, put it on a shelf next to the other ones and planned to never open it again. It felt like they were just word vomits from years past, that I didnt want to uncover for fear of what might be found. But this little ritual of every couple weeks of looking back at where we’ve been and documenting the important moments, people and places has been a surprisingly delightful experience. I think when we take moments like this to look back and to see all the movement in our lives, it seems almost impossible to miss that God is doing something here.
Journals are important, whether they are just word vomits, or to do lists, or weird sketches, or beautiful poetry, either way they are the stories of our lives. They are a window into the past, a snap shot of the present and maybe even a visual for the future. I believe there are moments in our lives that are wonderful, whether wonderfully painful or wonderfully joyful, but nonetheless I believe they are worth noting.
Yesterday we said goodbye to some people who became very dear friends to us. We met them in a beach parking lot in San Diego, and our buses have been following each other ever since. Lots of shared meals, campfires and great conversation. Our lives crossed paths and it felt like we’ve been friends for ages. They inspired us in their wanderlust spirit, great cutural dialogue and delightful sense of humor. You know its a lasting friendship when you buy walkie talkies like 4th graders wandering through the woods. But as all things in life, we had to part ways for new adventures on the horizon. We are now enjoying the incredibly beautiful pacific northwest. After journeying the entire classic HWY 1 and 101 from San Diego all the way up to the top of Washington with Frank and Mary, we are now enjoying some time in the mountains and beginning our thoughts of heading east. But for now we are enjoying crystal clear blue rivers and dense wet forests and snow capped mountains. This place is electric.