In the Garage

It’s the thinking about tomorrow that frustrates us. It’s the wanting to be on the road, humming along, singing Fleetwood Mac and knowing that we’ve started our journey. Instead, we’re stuck in the garage, using wrenches and sockets to pull out cold metal parts. The Westy’s guts sit on the floor. Our home won’t budge until we’ve put it back together.

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We’re at the nadir, the lowest point—the muck—where uncertainty loves to dwell. Of course it’s only muck if that’s how we label it and respond. If it’s another day of waking up and greeting the world and seeing what it has to teach us, then it is a full-bodied, ripe day.

In the last week, I have gone from being completely lost in the “trunk” (engine’s in the rear!) of our Westy to learning how to drain the coolant, replace the fuel lines, and, with some help, remove the head gaskets. Some of these days I’ve finished thinking that I’ve done very little, that I’ve simply stared at diagrams, loosened a few bolts and come inside with a glower of futility. It’s like learning a new language. At first, you’re clumsy with the new words; you can only say “hello” and “my name is Nick.” If you quit at the initial resistance, you won’t learn it. But if you forge past and give it a genuine try, you’ll find yourself saying things like, “you look lovely today” and “I am an explorer of the wild ways of the world.”

It’s difficult to commit to things we don’t feel we’re good at. It would be easy to bring the Westy to the mechanic. It would also be expensive, and when we broke down in Mexico I wouldn’t know the first thing about trying to fix it. So I squirm across cold concrete to get under the engine, I learn what I can from Peter (a most gracious teacher!), and I practice patience.

The road will arrive when it is ready.

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