I haven’t hiked much lately. I haven’t written much lately. I haven’t “been” much lately… apart from “been working”… Summer is high season in our wilderness school, it’s the time of the year where we make our living for the rest of the year. Plus since fall has come, we’ve been building our tiny home to make sure we have a roof above our heads in winter. So I’ve basically “been working” since I got back from the Haute Route. We need money to get us through the winter and ‘thru’ the PCT and through the winter after that.Am I complaining? O no baby I’m not, I just think I’m ready for the winter to come. I’m ready to calm down, to slow down, to gather my power, to get back to me, to reflect and to drink tea in the halo of the candles that light our tiny home. I need time to think, I need time to create sentences in my mind, I need time to finally write a book. It’s not gonna be in English though (well you probably say “Thank God!”), maybe it’s gonna be in German or maybe it’s gonna be in Dutch. Though after not speaking my own mother language regularly for 12 years now, I feel I can no longer write any language without making mistakes, and that -as you might understand- sucks!
So much has been going on and at the same time so little. It’s always like that in life. “Much” never comes without “little” and “little” never comes without “much”. Once again, for the one hundredth time in my life, I’m about to move. I’ve been living in paradise for the last couple of years. A beautiful llama- and camelfarm in the middle of the woods. That place and the animals have been an absolute blessing to me. But as life doesn’t stand still (though it often pretends to do so) I once again find myself at the crossroad of “I wish I could stay” and “it’s time to move on”. The next paradise is waiting. A place to call my own, our own. A tiny cabin without electricity or water coming out of the tab (but surrounded with woods and fields). Well yes, that can be paradise!

We’re not ready yet, building our tiny home, but after two months of hard work it’s finally starting to look cosy.

When I hiked the JMT in 2013 I brought my ukulele so I could write songs while on the road. Of one of the songs that came out the chorus goes like this:

 This is what life is all about
Moving and staying
Breathing and praying
This is what life is all about
Loving and caring
Giving and sharing
Moving doesn’t come without staying, staying doesn’t come without moving. Both would lose their meaning if they weren’t for eachother. It is because I stay that I can move. And it because I move that I can stay. The thing really is: To make choices, to take decisions, to find yourself at crossroads and to choose the road you wanna travel. Because YES you can choose, it might need some breathing and praying, but it’s in your hands.
Now while writing this down, it all seems so easy. But to be honest, I find it all very hard at times. The moving and staying, the breathing and praying, and -o yes- the loving and caring, the giving and sharing are sometimes the hardest of all. All these things life is all about!
When I’m hiking the moving is so obvious, so easy, so given. (And still the road I choose is defined by the places, the people, the hearts I decide to stay with.) When I’m not hiking, I miss the moving and I find it hard to settle, to stick to one place.
While I was working too much last summer my heart carried a deep longing for being out there, for hiking, for moving, not staying. Inside of me there is always that pull, the pull of the wild, of the unknown, of the “girl, there might be something better out there, waiting just for you!” I sometimes envy the people who are happy and content with staying in one place, but then I realise that really really just ain’t me. I’m a nomad, a womad, a wanderer, a mover, an “always on the road”. That’s where I meet myself, that’s where I meet people whose hearts beat the same rythm my heart beats, that’s where I feel at home.

Anyway… I’m gonna spend the winter writing in our tiny home; training, longing and preparing for the PCT and I’m gonna gather my (cat)power.

Bye cranes flying SOBO. Have a safe journey! When you’re ready to fly NOBO, I’ll be ready for it too!!!

4 thoughts on “Moving and staying

  1. Helen, I have followed the Tiny Home movement for about 4 years now. I am so proud of you to actually go ahead and make the transition. I think you're the only JMT hiker I know who has done this. I wonder how many JMT/PCT/AT hikers (who live a minimalist live on the trail) decide to go minimalist full time. I admire your determination and persistence. Congrats!


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