Coming back to this blog is like opening up a house which has been locked up for a season. This year it’s badly in need of renovation and upgrading. The metaphorical cobwebs are thick with metaphorical dust, after weeks and weeks of neglect. What has delighted and surprised me is how people still read it, even though there is nothing new. That gives me a kick. It’s something kind of permanent that I’ve created. Something other than my kids, of course. Good feeling.
Autumn is always when I begin to stir, as if my brain has been hibernating for the summer. Why Fall and not Spring? My best guess is that, although I was brought up in the country, with three or four acres of land on which to act out my fantasies, I don’t remember Spring being so awesome. I just don’t. There was a cycle to the crops my grandfather planted, and, yes, I tended to count the years by the plantings and harvestings, but mostly I was just glad Spring meant I could get outdoors more!
Autumn, however, was crisp and fresh and new. It meant going back to a school which hummed of newly varnished desks and new books, the potential of new kids, the exploring to find out what had changed, and a promise to sate my curiosity. One of my favorite lines in any movie is Tom Hanks telling Meg Ryan that he would send her “a bouquet of sharpened pencils.”
Autumn here, in a sub-tropical archipelgo, barely exists, of course. You have to go in search of it, up into the mountains, where there are trees whose leaves turn, and where those eerie mists do glide through the forests. Perhaps it is simply the apparent infinity of this year’s heat which is getting to me, but the restlessness which always comes over me at this time of year is powerful this time, probably because it is more an evolution than a new sensation.
Firstly, a renovation of the blog is afoot. It will be, hopefully, more modern, more fun and easier to navigate in the techie sense…….for me, that’s fun and HARD to make happen at the same time! But I need challenges, and it’s so good to learn new things! That’s why it has been so slow of late, because what’s happening is in the background, and won’t be obvious for a little while. Basically, it’s an evolution, or perhaps a gestation.
So far as content goes I will give away two things for now one is that there is going to be far more emphasis on age. I’ve reached screaming stage with the perceptions and misconceptions about life over 60, and you can expect more ranting, more inspiration and more concentration on that from now on. The sub-title of the blog, in fact, is going to change from “Life on a Small Island” to “Celebrating Life and Island Travel after 60” – or something like that, I’m not sure yet.
Secondly, an examination of my state of mind makes me realize that it is the lack of travel in my life which is largely to blame….. now there’s a surprise! And what is to blame for lack of travel? Two things lack of money and a faithful, old dog. I set out on the path to simplifying life oh, ten years ago now, not, necessarily, from a huge desire to shed possessions because I was quite content with many of them, but from necessity. It’s been an ongoing process. There is very little left to shed now, which, in turn means there is no money to travel. My optimism, my intention to look around me in the spirit of it being “the journey, and not the destination” is, it seems, petering out, and I am fairly desperate for change.
I wracked my brain, lost sleep, dreamed, traveled millions of miles vicariously, until I found a solution, not only to being able to travel but to not leaving behind Trixy. The answer, I figure is to shake the commitments to rent, utilities and telephones (which are, basically, the only ones left after the ten years), because I can’t afford to both travel and maintain a base here. Duh – how many travel blogs have I read over the years with that kind of advice? Still, we all have our own needs, and rushing into being a nomad at 60+ isn’t the same as approaching it at 20. Having loosed those commitments I should be able to travel the islands with Trixy. I’ll begin with the Canarian archipelago; after that, the plan is the rest of Macronesia for starters, and then, to quote Tennyson “….my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset…”
The embryo plan is to stay as long as I like wherever I choose, but long enough to get to know a place….unless I truly hate it! I know there will be complications, but hecky thump nothing ventured, nothing gained, Carpe Diem and all that.
So this is the dawn of a new day, a new path, a new adventure. I’m scared. I’m excited. I’m very happy about it all. I’m not off tomorrow. There are preparations to make, enjoyments to be shared, and commitments to complete first, but I am getting into gear, and you will soon see the changes here.