Friday, August 6, 2010

What’s a Wild Woman To Do?

Do you ever get the feeling that we were meant to be nomads? That maybe the Native Americans had the right idea about following food instead of farming? If floods were coming, they could just pick up their tents and head to higher ground. If one region had a drought, they could walk on over to where water was flowing. It may be that the best years of the lives of the Jews were spent collecting manna, milk and honey from heaven and not worrying about their next meal or fighting to defend their real estate.

Sometimes, it just seems easier not to get overly attached to any one place or person. A fellow blogger, “The Other Jack Darnell” writes about his and his wife’s lives as people without a permanent place. They do have an address, but that’s not where they live. They actually live in their RV and travel the country helping friends and learning life lessons from all with whom they come in contact.

Richard and I lived this way for the better part of our post-Katrina year. Imagine how much less complicated family affairs are when you can always be welcome guests. We’ve all heard the joke about parents who moved and didn’t leave a forwarding address. Sometimes, that sounds like a great idea; our kids figure it out for themselves if we’re not around to meddle. And empty nest syndrome has a hard time settling on one who is constantly creating new nests.

I wrote a journal back then, before I learned about blogging; I called it the Wandering Warrens. We split our time between visits to New Orleans, cooking and cleaning for fellow Katrina victims and traveling to see the sights of the good old USA. Every time we felt overwhelmed by the post-flood problems, or were in a lull in the rebuilding plans of our families and friends, we’d simply rev up the RV and head on down the road. We had a moving picture window on our own ever-changing world with new neighbors every other day.

Sometimes the only way to keep peace is to agree to disagree, and many issues, if left alone long enough, seem to solve themselves. Whenever the tension gets too high, when one lives on wheels, one can move on down the road until the dust settles. I miss the ability to let sleeping dogs lie that only the life of a nomad can continue; when conflict resolution was, “See you later, Alligator.”

Now, here we are in a small community with very large memories. Word of what we do spreads like wildfire, and the enemies of others are expected to be our enemies, too. The flip side is that the friends of others are automatically supposed to be welcome by all of one’s friends. There is no anonymity, so one always has to watch what one says and does, and anything out of the ordinary is construed as crazy. What’s a wild woman to do?