The Journey Begins Anew

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


Well, hello there. I almost didn’t see you, peeking around the edge of that overgrown spot where the right-of-way cuts into my property. Come on up — but take it a little easy. There’s a bit of a rut where my tires spun into the soft ground, just at the top of the rise. I haven’t improved the road just yet.

It’s on my to-do list. I have a lo-o-o-ng to-do list.

I’m Denise, and I seem to be on an adventure. At first, I thought it was going to be a fast sort of adventure. I mostly knew where I was going and what I wanted to do, and I set off with a full head of steam, purging my belongings, selling my home in Indianapolis, and moving myself and my dog, Bodhi, down South where I planned to stay for a few weeks with my parents until I found and bought a property in North Carolina. I put the remainder of my stuff in storage, anticipating that Bodhi and I would soon settle into a yurt and live out our sweetly simple lives surrounded by the wild beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Universe had other ideas.

Bodhi died. My income all but dried up. And almost every single plan I made changed. My adventure ground to a halt, and I slipped into a dark, weeks-long depression. I felt old and useless and stupid for blowing up my life as I did, on what amounts to a whim.

But you didn’t come all this way to listen to me talk about my troubles. Besides, that’s not where my adventure ends. That’s just where it begins anew.

Finnegan, Begin Again

I started telling this story over on another blog, but I decided it was getting kind of big for that blog and it needed its own space. You see, I’ve been exploring not only the what and the how of living in deeper connection with the land but also paying a lot of attention to the why of it all as I go. I’m trying to answer questions for myself like:

  • How “minimal” is minimalism? What belongings will I need to feel comfortable in my new life? How big a space will I need to house them?
  • What does it mean to be in symbiotic relationship with the land?
  • Is homesteading right for me? What about permaculture? What do those things really look like?
  • Do I have the skills I’ll need to live the way I think I want to live?
  • What kinds of gear will I have to buy to make the place livable?

And the big one:

  • Why the heck am I doing this, whatever this turns out to be?

I’m taking things more slowly now, accepting that beloved companions die and income goes up in smoke and plans for the future collide with brick walls. And out of that acceptance, something magical has happened: A new dog has entered my life. New sources of income have opened up. My plans are shifting as I treat them more as explorations than an etched-in-stone road map.

So here you are, on my driveway-to-be, looking at the overgrowth and trees and all this untouched, untamed, tilting mountain land on which I plan to make my home, and you’re wondering (I know you are!): Where is this going?

Shoot, I dunno. I used to think I did, but that was just an illusion. For now, I have a general shape in mind. I have a story unfolding in front of me. And I have you to tell it to.

Walk with me a while, will you? I’d appreciate the company as I  figure this thing out.



9 Comments Add yours

  1. Jami says:

    I’m right here, friend. Keep walking and talking. I’m listening and reading. XO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denise says:

      Thank you, dear friend. xoxo


  2. Lowell Rinker says:

    Hey….I’m here too!…..don’t forget me!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denise says:

      How could I EVER forget you?!


  3. Denise, I am so happy to have found you and discovered your incredible journey. I cannot wait to immerse myself in your blog and catch up on all your previous posts. I aspire to tread along a similar path as you are doing, over the coming years although I will be in the south coast of England rather than the amazing sounding Blue Ridge Mountains. I believe finding you is a sign and I know I will be drawing much inspiration and gain much knowledge from accompanying you on your journey, past, present and future. Thank you.


    1. Denise says:

      I’m…speechless. And if you knew me, you’d know how rare that is — and how deeply grateful I am for your words. I hope you share at least some part of your own journey with the world, too.


      1. vegancuckoo says:

        I have been sharing a little over the last few years but, like you, this new journey requires a new space where I can also find more time for writing. First though, I want and need to read your journey. Peace & Gratitude for that opportunity x

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Carolann Cervi says:

    Denise, I am so glad to have found you! At 52 and divorced I am searching for a life aligned with my values, more in harmony with nature. So many options…tiny house, yurt, small cabin. I also lost my beloved golden several years ago (he was only 4) and have been devastated by that loss and wrangling new chronic health issues. I feel as if you are a beacon of light as I seriously consider next steps. I am inspired by your courage, determination and flexibility. Thank you for sharing your process.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denise says:

      I am…speechless. And humbled. Whatever you decide to do, just remember that the perfect picture you carry in your head is rarely what you end up with. But what you end up with will be beautiful beyond your imagining. Thank you for this. Yours is one of the voices that has sung me awake and inspired me to go on writing.


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