Reflection time at the backseat of our van.
At my left side a little boy has gone to sleep. After I sang him 34 lullabies and congratulated him with a similar number of headstands on his bed. Once asleep I watched him for a while, even though my legs were asleep too meanwhile. The last bits of baby has gathered in his chubby cheeks and hands; he is a little boy now, 47 duplo bricks tall.
We had been chasing the sounds of frogs and beetles this evening and followed rabbit droppings till we found their holes. Seeing his face in full awe with each discovery I start to understand the meaning of 'worldlearning'. How perfectly unaware is he of my privileged feelings. That will probably last until he wakes up from his cosy trunk-bed and suggest to join our shoebox-sized bedroom. Half of the bed will be his, the other 65 cm for his immovable parents.
At my right side Bas is putting a kettle on the stove to wash himself. He shortened his beard, although I liked it a lot having my private Santa Claus. It suited well with our latest habit of collecting food from the wild: eatible flowers, wild lettuce, olives, almonds and oranges. Happiness! Avocadoes are even simpler: we just let Tijn stare at a farmer's picking and 5 minutes later he will come back with full hands.
We've been driving distances these weeks, especially through lemon-land. We must have driven most roads and slept at most rivers of Spain now, while having precious times at eco-projects, communities and friends. On the road we submerge ourselves in hobbit hills, lavender fields, patchwork mountains full of life and medieval towns. Both the impressively changing landscapes and the inspiration of all the recent encounters have filled our minds.
Sharing time with the people we meet does a lot to us. So many of them live from the heart, they stand for a dream and for peaceful living. If we had to name one thing that completes our travels, it would without a doubt be the people who share their hearts with us. We've come to realize that we long to live in a place where we share truthful, warmhearted contact with our neighbors. Where we live outside, learn from nature, grow our own food and where we're free to follow our passions day by day. And to come home to from travels. Would this roadtrip lead to Utopia, even when we're too scared to believe in it (or maybe too scared to arrive)?
This journey has become our big book of life lessons. All obstacles, bumps and tresholds to take, all kinds of weather conditions, floods to drive through and mud to get stuck in, every meter of challenge and beauty fills our experience like nothing else could do.
And not only the outside conditions do. Apparently our van is pretty well able to represent the challenging side of our relationship too: we've got rust, squeaky doors, lazy brakes, fiery engine, louzy wipers and a stubborn steering wheel. Just as much as we can feel mighty and on top of the world one day, we can feel small and vulnerable the other day. There are moments where one of us wants to go left and the other one right. Moments where we wonder what on earth we are doing. And so we learn to forgive. To speak from the heart and to listen. To cherish, again and again. And to celebrate all the good things we have in common with our van: the light, the colors that make people wave, the miraculous reliability, the wanderlust and the happy Herbie-horn.
Where ever our road will lead us, this is already an everlasting journey.
Meanwhile we arrived in the South of France where we dip ourselves into a some more inspiration for our living dreams before heading further North to meet our youngest baby nephew next month! After that... as always, our road is open.