Jessica Eve Watkins
Earlier November, 2014.
“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “He’s going to hurt me.” Or,”I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
― Ray Bradbury
I don’t know where my wanderlust began, or if it will end. I’ve spent my whole twenties roaming, travelling, driving, planning, escaping. I am addicted to it. Sometimes, lately, it feels like a problem. I require a lot more purpose from myself as I get older, and I’m thinking maybe that wont always go hand in hand with sleeping in a car-seat, and getting dressed in Walmart parking lots. I’ve got no idea how many people have seen me pee between car doors, or if waitresses mind as I blatantly clean my teeth and face in their cafe bathrooms.
Last month we arrived at a place I have been desperate to get back to. An exception in my life. I wanted to return to Snaggy Mountain, meld into it, and really try living there, from the first moment I walked through the door, back in April. After only a few days there, I welcomed an awakening in me that glowed vibrant all summer long, and has penetrated my thoughts everyday since I found it. The place changed my heart, and therefore my life path.
Our road looping from eco-village to intentional community ended with a gravel driveway in Burnsville, NC, two weeks ago, when we returned to Snaggy Mountain. We drank half a bottle of sake and sang the entire back catalogue of Kings of Leon before we arrived in a torrential rainstorm. The light faded and my heart grew wild with fire to return. There was Jojo, and his strangers on the hill, still intact, still living wild amongst the tulsi tendrils and blue eyed dogs.
I don’t know why certain places and people evoke these passions within us – I can only guess the magic forces at work. I do know its rare. It doesn’t happen for me so often, and I am utterly thankful to have the chance to live out this part of my destiny. I am so lucky to wake up each morning with the ducks rasping in the stream, and the wind licking around my window panes. Snow powder hilltop, wet socks, numb toes, beer at 4pm by an open fire. Banjo, fiddle, roasting flames, mountain moon, blackest night walks.
I sleep in a barn between two goddesses sometimes, and in a cabin with a kind man on others. Each view is the view I want to be seeing, but I was silly to think it wouldn’t be challenging. Each moment is the right moment, but life here isn’t how I imagined.
It’s been two weeks now. I’ve watched all my expectations change and evolve. I’ve been terrible at looking after myself. I barely brush my teeth, do my laundry, or make my bed. I don’t remember to eat meals, but I do eat a lot of sugar. I don’t work hard enough, never have my own space. I am lost in the landscape and emotion that fuelled my pathway back here. I’m in love with the roughness. Living each day in ‘don’t-know’ mind, it flicks between driving me crazy and wrenching me open. It’s driving others crazy around me too, as I refuse to make decisions about anything. I think I like it, then I hate myself in this situation, then I love it again completely. I’ve felt an uptightness in me start to rattle free, and let my clinging, grippy fingers loosen. There are particularly strong lessons in every waking moment for me right now. The way I view each day is how the next day views me.
I need to give myself space, spend more time alone, watch the layers of myself that are beginning to rise to the surface. I whatsapp my friend Siobhan and tell her I feel alive. I feel raw and open and scared and crazy and beautiful and like I’m truly living. I think that’s my new addiction. I tell her that I’ve learned I am feisty. She says she always thought I was.