Day 1

Today is Easter. We woke up for the first time in our rented townhome. On a mattress on the floor. After two and a half years on the road…900 days and 93,000 miles…we have our own place again.

I’ve been looking far and wide for beauty and I’ve found it. But now it’s time for a new season. We’ve come home to be closer to family and friends, to reconnect with community, to write the next book and produce the next exhibit.

It’s the right decision and I’m already enjoying the connection of having lunch with friends and accidental encounters at the grocery store. But I’m sad, too. I am mourning the loss of the road. The spontaneity, the adventure, not knowing what’s around the next corner and having the time to go find out.

It’s a regular pattern of mine and I know it like an old friend. I grieve the loss of one place when I move on to another. I need to recognize that and give it time. I need to honor it, because it won’t go away by me ignoring it. It is a predictable process and it just needs to play out.

Juan Bosco talked about his journey from the coastal mountains of Nicaragua to Yuma, Arizona as a young boy. His entire family had moved for his dad’s job and he was transported from a temperate, lush landscape with 80 degree temperatures and cool breezes to a harsh, arid and seemingly barren inferno. Juan Bosco hated Yuma and he spent his time focused on what Yuma was not. He said it took him years to recognize what Yuma was, and then he could finally learn to love it for the beauty that existed there. The stunning skies, the fragile desert blossoms that emerged after a storm.

I need a similar rewiring. Even though we made the choice to come off the road, it’s hard. We will never have another journey just like this, and now it’s done. I’ve often said that there is beauty and wisdom all around us, if we take the time to see it. So I need to look. I need to practice. I need to be intentional about seeing what’s in my own back yard so that I can fall in love with the beauty of the midwest again, and this slower pace of being rooted.

So I’m setting out on a 40-day journey, with all sorts of ambitious goals. We chose our townhome location specifically because it is across the street from a 3,000 acre nature preserve, laced with biking and hiking trails. After living close to the outdoors for the past couple years, I’m counting on this easy access to green space to help ease the transition.

The plan is to walk out my back door each morning, 30 minutes before sunrise and spendand hour in the park to greet the new day. Literally out the back door. I’ll bring my phone, but it will be on airplane mode. I won’t check messages or social media. Certainly no news. I’d considered a rule about taking no photos, but that’s is how I explore the world. I can’t go too austere in this experiment.

When I come back home, I will journal and then get on with my day.

I’m astounded that there is time in my schedule for this. 40 days, more or less in one place. There will be some speaking engagements and meetings, but I can steer those to afternoons and evenings. There will be trips to the farm, but I can walk there. April and May are set aside for writing, so I can keep this time open.

I want to see if I can find new rhythms and create new habits. I want to change my relationship with technology. I want to celebrate what is out the back door. And I want to share what I see. They say it takes 40 days to establish a new habit. Welcome to day 1 of a new journey.

17 thoughts on “Day 1

  1. I love it! Your journey continues and, as always, you are thoughtful about it. I hope you’ll post pictures from your morning walks to inspire us all.

  2. Hi John. Here’s to Day One of The New Journey. A doe visited our yard yesterday morning; an elegant and beautiful creature and I like to think our blessing for the day. She was pure calm strolling about. May we all rewire from time to time.

    1. Thanks Barbara. I love those visits. 6 deer on the walk yesterday. None this morning, but a muskrat, pushing a V through the water with his nose, where the ice had released its grip from the edge of the lake.

  3. John, what amazing reflection and helps me to stop and think as well. I am currently on a year long journey and I know I will mourn it as well. I have enjoyed following your journey and getting to know your work better. It was great being part of the team that brought you to Shoreview. Onward and upward my friend.

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