Apologies from a homebound wanderer

Where did this year go??  Between slogging through my own grief of the loss of my son in November and the new territory of a Covid-defined world, I honestly haven’t had the creative motivation to sit down and write again. Every day I look at this sweet collage art hanging on my wall that my daughter put together of Brandon, and I’m reminded of just how short our lives truly are; And how important each moment is to making memories that last.

Was my last blog really 8 months ago?!  As I read over what I wrote in my January 2nd blogpost Walking through the valley with 20/20 vision, the words seem eerily prophetic.

Travel, as we defined it, came to a screeching halt worldwide.  We were forced to readjust, reframe, and reorganize.

Wander, Linger, Savor is the title I chose for my blog years ago when I discovered the rewarding practice of slow travel.  Not to be confused with a slow boat or donkey ride to your destination (although that could be an adventure as well), but as in settling down into your destination after you arrive and staying put until you squeeze out the essence of the local flavors.

Late afternoon snack – Vicenza Italy – too long ago…

Unfortunately, Covid changed the scope of wandering, and my excursions to far away places have been limited to armchair travels.  Right now, I’m just skirting the shores of Morocco with my travel companion, Mark Twain (The Innocents Abroad.)  In true Twain style, his prose is detailed with rich descriptions and rife with humor, which I’m thoroughly enjoying.

“In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.”  (Mark Twain – The Innocents Abroad) 

It’s the most classic of travel memoirs.

But ultimately, wanderlust can only be satisfied by sticking your proverbial toes in the sand (or boots in the snow since we live in a landlocked state.)  So, our wandering took on a new face, and Colorado cabin fever drove us outdoors on trips closer to home.

Escaping Covid in the great Colorado outdoors – April 2020

 

Biking farm country in Missouri – June 2020

 

Close of the day under Mt. Sneffles sky – Colorado camping 2020

 

Biking near Ridgeway, CO July 2020

 

Have you noticed that to travel means we put ourselves in the uncomfortable position of having our edges softened?  Only to discover that it’s what we needed all along.  Our eyes have been opened to new sights, sounds, ideas, perspectives and when we return home, we see our corner of the world in a more acute light with all its beauty and warts.

And we risk becoming better people for it.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

The universal language of smiles – from a small village in Greece

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Apologies from a homebound wanderer

  1. Kenny Noble Cortes

    Melanie, this is so beautifully penned. The inclusion of Mark Twain’s acerbic and hilarious views lifted my spirits. I think the reason you both hit home is because your heart and soul are open and vulnerable to conventional wisdom. Why? Because to be really human is to be unconventional.

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  2. CATHERINE MCWILLIAMS

    Melanie I would like to follow your blog. I did not know about your son, but I am moved by your trust in God. Life is so fraught with sadness, hurt and troubles but we always look back and know that He is with us throughout it all. He restores our joy and brings hope to fill our empty spaces I look forward to reading more about your adventures Blessings and hugs, Cate Mc Williams

    Sent from my iPad

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  3. Patricia Putnam

    I’m so glad to read this! You were on my mind this morning and I was praying for you. It looks like you’ve had some great trips. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. momputnam

    I’m so glad to read this! You were on my mind this morning and I was praying for you. It looks like you’ve had some great trips. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Linda Lake

    Love this, Mel! Love Mark Twain, love your photos, and good thoughts! It has been a bizarre year, and you have extra things to process in the midst of it. May the Lord continue to provide that daily bread with His strength and grace.

    We so enjoyed the wonderful meal and visit with you two. Thanks again for having us over. Hope to keep bumping in to you! Blessings, Linda

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  6. Jennifer Lane

    Brava Mel. Words well said and books well chosen at this time in history. Gio and I miss you both and would love to accompany you on a few of your adventures… if only we were on the same continent.

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  7. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to this dear friend. I have read it at least three times. I love how you write and I feel so connected to your travel spirit. Last year at this time we were returning from the Baltic Sea. Everything you have said above is so true about travel and Keith and I praise God for the traveling we have been able to do. Ahh… maybe next year. We’ll see. There is always room for you here in our little Montrose house. We’ll leave the light on for ya. Luv you.

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  8. Kim

    Glad to see your blog again! Good for you to take the time to feel into the grief of your loss and take the time you needed to be in prayer and faith. So much love to you! Happy to see your courageous ideas for everyone with wanderlust!

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