All Good Things Come to an End

*Photo taken at Sequoia National Park, where I really began chewing on the idea of writing a travel lifestyle blog in the summer of 2017. This picture was taken while a marmot chewed on the inside of the tree as I stood in the opening. 🙂

My lovelies, the time has come. After posting religiously every week since November 16, 2017, I have come to the realization that I must take a break from writing Flying with the Falcon. This may come as a surprise to those who follow me, as I haven’t even hinted in my blog about my growing frustration with finding subjects to write about every week, but the frustration has been there for a while. Now that the travel has halted for so long, my ideas wane, and I feel I am not serving my audience the way I could or should. I have so enjoyed writing this blog, and truly looked forward to sharing my thoughts with my readers every week. My heart has been here in every post, so grateful to have this platform, and so happy to offer my humble travel experiences with you. It’s been such an honor to serve as a gentle encourager of getting out into the world, to fall in love with nature, to hold this beautiful planet in our hearts, and to honor it with our care. I have shared my ideals on politics, taking a stand for justice, and taking care of humanity. As you probably know, I believe love and compassion are the only answer to make our future work better than our present. See it, believe it, live it. We can make it a reality. All the writing I shared, along with my conviction to living tiny, will all live on the internet on my new website, still available for anyone who wants to read them. For now, I will stop adding new content. I will miss it, but it’s time.

I plan to travel again, but I don’t know when that will happen yet. Things are up in the air with our jobs holding us down with time, and we need to focus on funding our dreams. We need a home, and rebuilding the Aluminum Falcon seems like a distant hope with no place to park it in New Hampshire, no place close enough to make it convenient for working on it regularly. Our Olean home needs to be finished so we can put it on the market. My writing business is in need of my attention to make it grow. So many things to juggle in order to move forward, and something had to give. I plan to hike this summer, and maybe I’ll write about it and share. If I travel, I will certainly write about it when I can. For now, though, I feel I am doing my audience a disservice by rummaging in the past for interesting material until new travel experiences come along in my present. It’s just not good enough. In the meantime, I still plan to write. I am working on ideas for a blog about writing, and still need to decide what I want to write about, and how often I want to publish. In this moment, I think I need a short break from the schedule to just live with my thoughts, find my new direction, and spend some time with my inner compass.

This week I read a little news, which I haven’t done for a while (because it’s been so horrid and hopeless, and I don’t want to feel that way). It’s awful, but also wonderful. Christchurch is grief-stricken with the massacre of over 50 people who wanted only to worship together in peace. Children all over the world participated in over 2,000 strikes, walking out of school on Friday, March 15th, to protest the lack of attention being given to climate change. They may just save us all. Meanwhile, the president of the United States falsely proclaims that white nationalism (aka: white supremacy) isn’t a problem, that the shooting in New Zealand is no big deal, and our southern border is still an emergency. He’s trying to crowdfund his wall now. I am mystified by the ability for anyone to ignore science, research, and real data. It’s astonishing, but it’s a problem humanity has had for millennia. We aren’t new to ignoring truth, we just share it more readily on social media now. For what it’s worth, I still feel hopeful for the future. I believe most people are generally good, and when faced with tough decisions, they will do the right thing most of the time. We all make mistakes, we all do terrible things sometimes, and we all are imperfect, but we all mostly want the world to be better, for people to be happy.

As I move onto a new platform for my website and do my best to keep improving content for my readers, I am excited to say that I have fallen in love with podcasting. If you think I’m leaving you because this blog is taking a break, think again. I will still be here in one form or another, whether writing, podcasting, sharing photos on Instagram, or making videos. My work is just shifting to another way to share, so come find me if you are compelled, or share with a friend. I always welcome sharing, and am so very grateful to all the wonderful readers who have come here weekly to read. There are a few of you I see here all the time, and I love you for your support. You are the reason I stayed as long as I have, trying to keep the flame lit for the Falcon. Who knows what the future will bring? Perhaps something much better, bigger, more valuable. Whatever it is, my mind needs time to dig it up from my subconscious so I can share it in the best way for you to enjoy it. I want it to be amazing. You deserve my best.

My friends, I want to leave you with a request that we all take good care of each other and our world. There are so many ways to make an impact, and even the smallest effort can change lives. Remember to hold doors for your elders, bring your own bags to the grocery store, look up at the stars at night, hug people you love every day, put down your phone more often, visit libraries and museums, plant a garden, go dancing, and above all, remember people usually have good intentions. Not all people are well-meaning, but most are. Trust that humanity has a good heart, and you will see the evidence everywhere you go. Enjoy this beautiful planet as much as you can while you’re here, because you never know what day will be your last. Live your life to its fullest every day, and regret won’t stand a chance. Be good to each other. I’m so sad right now, as I write this last paragraph to you. This connection has meant so much to me, and has truly become an important part of my writing life; I am going to miss it dearly. Can you feel me here? Can you feel all the love I am pouring into my words? It’s heavenly, this depth, this connection, this slender tether that ties us together each week. More than anything, I wish I could see you all out there to hug you goodbye until we meet again, but the words will have to be enough. May your hearts be full. May you love unconditionally. May you live with joy and abundance, and know that while you have shared my experiences with me, you have been cherished.

With all my love,

Elaine

 

 

When You Want to Get off the Ride but You Can’t

*Photo of clover in the woods near our home in Nelson, NH.

As the world turns, I seem to have fallen into a hole of get up and work, go to work, come home and prepare for work the next day, go to bed, and get up and work again. On and on it goes, like a hamster wheel. It’s not ideal, and I have hope that I will regain my energy again one day soon, but for the moment I am not climbing mountains. Just thinking about climbing mountains makes me want to weep. Though I had the best intentions of getting out over the weekend to go hiking in the woods, my body simply could not comply. I needed to rest, since I have been so tired and stressed I actually got sick for the first time in years. Not sick enough to stay home, but sick enough to add weight to the existing exhaustion. This shall pass eventually. Until it does, I have been eating the best possible food, avoiding any junk at all, going to bed at obscenely early hours, and staring off into space at odd times during the day. Sleeping, resting, and eating good food. The only recipe for feeling better. Of course, there is also the food for the spirit, and I have been enjoying my return to the wonderful meditation center in Keene, where Monday evenings are like a lantern on a moonless night. They breathe life into the rest of my week.

One aspect of exhaustion which has caused me to ponder is the fact that this feeling of not having control over my own hours, my own time, serves as a reminder of my ultimate goal to truly have the freedom to work for myself. This discomfort of having to rise so early when I am a night owl, spending my days getting down onto the floor to work with young preschoolers (and then having to get up again—I am really getting great work-outs at the school), not always being able to use the bathroom when I need to go…all these things serve as reminders of what I really want. More than anything, I know I work best when I work for myself, or at the very least I work best when I am left to my own devices. Though I do enjoy those moments of wonder when a child’s face lights up with something they just learned, ultimately I know I must find ways to work for myself if I want to be truly happy. For the moment, the pressure of my discomfort will push me harder to find the creativity to make it happen. Rather than allow myself to wallow in misery, I will use the discomfort as fuel to forge ahead into the long hours of the night, writing my little heart out until I pass out in the chair with my computer in my lap. #Goals.

Though I did not find any trails to hike, I still find delight in walking the wooded road where we currently live, and I did take a wrong turn the other day which led to a serendipitous discovery of a nature preserve. I am excited to go wander the trails there, and maybe since I have it in mind my body will give me the needed energy to take the dogs for some fun soon. Our wooded road is lovely, but I require a change of scenery now and then. We’ve had a lot of rain falling lately, though; I hope we can get some respite from it soon. The sun hasn’t been out much, and the waterways in the North are full to bursting. If only we could build a pipeline for water from one side of the country to the other. All the rain of the East Coast regions could be sent to the West Coast to fight the fires and water the produce wilting in the summer heat. As the years wear on, we may have to do that very thing to help save the coasts from their unbalanced weather patterns. Sigh. Why does anyone still believe the propaganda of companies that profit from this sort of thing?

Today, much earlier in the day than I would ever expect to hear such a thing, an owl hooted from the trees right outside our house. It surprised me because it was so loud and unexpected, but I immediately smiled and got all excited that my rather large owl friend is still in the neighborhood. I thought the owl had moved elsewhere because it’s been quite a while since I heard any hooting, but apparently not. We also have a resident porcupine which likes to wander the woods around our house (we know this because we keep finding quills everywhere), and the other night I saw my first porcupine ever in the wild. It makes a very odd sound, a lot like a-dar-dar-dar-dar-dar, kind of like a duck and a goose together, but much stranger. It was fortunate that Michael knew what it was when I heard it that night, because a day or two later I came across another porcupine while I was walking the dogs. The darn thing was rooting around at the base of a small tree, somewhat hidden in the brush, and I didn’t even see it until we were within a couple of feet of it. Somehow the dogs didn’t notice it at all, which was good, because I high-tailed it out of there lickety-split. I had no desire to have to pull porcupine quills out of my dogs’ faces all night. Dogs, after all, are not known for their intelligent choices when it comes to chasing animals. Skunks, porcupines, deer, bears…dogs will go after all kinds of animals, regardless of their own safety. The thrill of the chase is too alluring, and they do not resist. What surprised me was the fact that I noticed the porcupine, but the dogs didn’t—so much for their keen sense of smell. Either way, it bristled as we walked past, and I escaped unscathed.

Once again, my body is drooping. I’ve prepared my vittles, my coffee, my clothes, and my shoes for tomorrow’s scheduled hours at the school, and now I absolutely must lie down. It took all my strength to just cook dinner and take the dogs for a walk, aside from the few things I did to prep for work tomorrow. Eventually I have to get used to this, right? I mean, I know I’m not 25 anymore, but I’m not that old. At some point, I have to buck up and get some kind of vigor back in my step. Life awaits, and I have every intention of living it. With that thought, it reminds me of a promise I made to myself at the last Monday meditation: I promise to live in the present. Something I have noticed about myself lately is that I tend to live for the future too often. I find myself thinking about things I want to do, places I want to go, people I want to meet, and then it seems as though I waste the present moment. Last night I got all wound up about how early I would have to get up, and how much I loathe the early hour at which I rise five days a week, and then I simply reminded myself that right now, in this moment, I am not rising early. In this moment, I am home, lying on my bed, resting. I reminded myself to enjoy the rest and to stop wasting the moment of rest with worry about what I would be doing hours and hours in the future. It helped. Live in the moment. That is my wisdom for today. Even if this moment is not the moment you want it to be, I am sure there is something in the moment that can be savored. A cool breeze. A warm sweater. A comfortable seat. A deep breath. All moments can be this way if we choose. Tomorrow I will endeavor to find those moments between the chaos of young children pulling the wool over the eyes of their teachers, and be grateful I can rise from the floor again and again in a day. I will be happy to breathe deeply when I am tired, and glad when I can use the bathroom. Little things.