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September 4, 2019: There’s No Place Like Home

Home free – that’s the space in hide and seek that you run to after hiding. You reach there, and you are finally safe. This phrase complements the importance of home in our lives. It’s a place where we can grow and prosper, if we put our minds to it.

This summer I again travelled and lived the semi-nomadic lifestyle – I’d previously done this, travelling by sea kayak and bicycle. The difference between these modes of travel and this summer’s mode of travel is that this summer, I travelled by horseback, on a living being. My horses were my companions. I couldn’t say this about my sea kayak or bicycle. They are merely a means of conveyance.

In travelling by horseback, I likened myself to being like Robyn Davidson who rode and packed camels across the Australian desert. In Tracks, she writes about her relationship with her camels and dog, Digger. I’m doing the same in writing a book entitled “The Gift of a Good Ride.”

There is a difference here in that I also write (albeit in an indirect fashion) about the importance of having a place to return to at the end of one’s sojourn. Bernice Ende, who has ridden thousands of miles and has truly embraced the nomadic lifestyle, tends to downplay the importance of home, as does CuChullaine O’Reilly, a Long Rider and the founder of the Long Rider’s Guild, an organization that promotes and advocates safe long riding.

It is a truism – doing long rides and living the nomadic and semi-nomadic lifestyle can be life-changing, in part because (or at least in my case) it makes one more appreciative of that place called home. It has been here that I experienced the gift of a good ride. My basis for comparison was our trail system. I was, before we embarked on our trip, a somewhat fearful trail rider. I returned a more confident rider. I saw this last weekend when I did what I called the residential ride. Nothing, nothing at all fazed me or Tyra.

As importantly, our place is such that it complements the semi-nomadic lifestyle. We live off the grid, and as such, are resourceful. No mechanized lawnmowers here – the horses have been dining on the knee high grass and the goats have been munching on the browse. Pete’s been taking down some of the older trees on our property, and I have been doing lawn restoration. I’m excited about my latest project – it started with my cutting down some of the brush near the farthest fence line, so as to open up the area some. I then had another idea (remember this is a work in progress), I am taking a page from permaculture experts, and putting the area to better use. So I’m doing as they do. I cut up the cardboard we have lying around, and will lay it down in the areas where I’ve cleared out the weeds. I’m going to put compost on the cardboard, and then sprinkle it with grass seed. Pete added that we can string a fence around this area, so as to keep the animals out.

I will, if this works, do this elsewhere on our property, and incorporate herbs into the mix. This way, horses can go to the various patches, and in this way, round out their diet.

Next: 245. 8/5/19: Becoming a WEMT

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