I have also wanted to live in Colorado, Scotland, Africa, Guatemala, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, even Oregon lately (thanks to Bainy).
I love adventure. I love meeting new people, adding new stories to my repertoire. I have a hunger to experience the world.
But lately, that hunger has been tamed by a little something called loneliness. While I yearn to work for an orphanage in Uganda, study religion in Scotland, archive for the American History Museum in D.C., or build Habitat houses across the country, I also yearn for a deeper connection with those I love.
A great friend told me last night that he wanted me to get back "home" where he is, so that he and I can start working ministry together as we did years ago. The thought was tantalizing.
Another great friend in the same evening mentioned that if I don't settle in somewhere I can never expect to get connected, relationally or vocationally.
And it got me to thinking about a thought I had as I watched the sun set over the William Wallace Monument in Stirling, Scotland. As I watched this beautiful moment in an amazing land, I thought about how I wanted to share the experience with those that I loved. I had friends in Scotland, people who I truly cared about, but no one my heart was tied to. I wanted that. I wanted to share my adventure.
I still do. I am returning to Kansas somewhat with my tail between my legs. My Arkansas adventure left me feeling depleted, alone, empty. I have not made the connections here I usually would. I left West Virginia with friends that I contact to this day. New York was the same story. Scotland, most definately. In Arkansas, I will leave behind some great people, but the connection to the area and culture has not been made. The fault is mine.
So perhaps I have reached a point where the Great Wanderer begins to feel his solidarity. Or perhaps I just need to return to my "homebase" and get recharged. I honestly don't know. I still want to go. Still want to keep seeing, experiencing, exploring. I still want to look back 40 years from now and be able to talk about the people I have met, loved, lived amongst. I know that I will still have the itch to move.
What does it mean when the wanderer becomes the lonely wanderer? What does it mean when I can't tie myself to a place, because I am always looking back? Do I want people to support my desire to move, or to tie me down and show me a more stable way of life?
I don't know. I do know one thing. God does know. This is not a cheap cop-out. This is not me saying I will just wait, and listen, and not move until I am sure. The opposite is true. I know that I will have to keep moving, and that the only way I will be happy is if in that movement I am seeking God's plan. God's move. If I am following His path, then I will make the connections neccesary to sustain my joy. Not that I won't be lonely, but that I will at least have a purpose within the loneliness. This may not sound awesome, but it is.
I love to wander. I love to stay on the move. I suspect I always will. At the moment I am a weary traveler, but I suspect soon enough the joy will come back to life on the move. I suspect.