A few months ago, we met a fellow bus-lifer at an art show. Steve was a tall, lanky character. I say “character” because I think he might have walked right out of a cartoon. His bus was white with bright blue rims. He attached a toy shark and a ship to the hood of it. Steve had a lightness about him; his art and his life were filled with humor, goof, and a pool full of delight. He painted comical cartoons of what I imagined were scenes from his life. I don’t know much about Steve, but he inspired me to have a lightness in life and to have a little more play and whimsy . I find myself too often getting frustrated with the smallest of troubles. I get so focused on productivity, rushing to the next thing or thinking of my to-do list. Steve didn’t seem to be like that. He walked with a slower demeanor, like he had been around the block a few times and knew there was nothing to worry about.
As we are adapting to a new pace of life, as well as having a walking little one, I find myself in tension. Constantly thinking about where we are headed next, where are we going to stay, what art needs to be shipped, what supplies we need, and all the while there are toys and dirt all over the bus. And at the same time, I am on the ground far more often than ever before, discovering things with Daisy with a new sense of wonder and awe. She loves with so much abandon, touches everything in sight and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. Somewhere between 1 year old and 25 I learned that you need to be focused, productive, and have something to show at the end of the day. Somewhere along that journey I forgot the joy of grabbing a handful of sand, picking flowers in a field, or big sloppy kisses and long snuggles. Having a little one on a road trip like this is tough, but man, is it beautiful. She is learning new things everyday, and apparently we are too.
I hope to be more like Steve, slow and easy to talk to. I want to do more things just for the fun of it. And I don’t want to rush through life too much. Our new activity is that when we are staying at a Wal-Mart parking lot (which we try not to do often), we go into the store before bedtime to get some of Daisy’s energy out. But in the past month or so, Daisy has started walking and almost running, so our time in Wal-Mart has become a little different. Now we chase each other through the clothes isles, put on masks to play peek a boo, and try to catch Daisy from pulling every piece of candy off the shelves. This time running around Wal-Mart has become a new favorite tradition of mine. We just laugh and we play, and sometimes we make the workers mad, and sometimes we put on things we’re not supposed to, but at the end of the day our hearts are full and I think we have discovered a little bit of whimsy.