The call of nature (center)

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...Thoreau

Who hasn’t dreamed of ditching it all and heading into the woods?  Jay and I are no longer dreaming.  This Friday, we will become caretakers for a nature center.  It was a  crazy chain of events leading us to this opportunity. 

Because our lease was ending and the landlord was selling the house, we’ve been working on plans for the past several months.  We decided we would launch as full time RVers – something we have wanted to do since trying it several years ago with the kids. 

Many of our planning discussions took place while we were hiking at the nature center – one of our favorite places on the planet.  From the first time we hiked out there, nearly four years ago, I would eyeball the “Caretakers” camper and declare, “Wouldn’t it be great to live here?” 

I would even peer around the gate to see if I could find the person so I could ask them how we could get their job.  (Like that would be a good plan.)  But back to our story.

We put a deposit on a camper that we found and planned on moving into it on July 1.  Shortly after – this was about 2 weeks ago, I just happened to look at the local employment section of the newspaper.  Something I do once in a great while just to see what’s going on in the job world.  There was the ad.

Wanted:  Caretakers for nature center. 

The phone number was listed.  I called and left a message at 6:00 a.m.  We went out there by noon.  The Executive Director showed us the camper to see if we would faint at the small size.  “We lived in one about this size with our three kids,” we told him. 

A few days later we interviewed.  (“There are several applicants,” we were told.)  We left giddy at the prospect. 

Then we got cold feet.  Do we really want to commit to having to be there seven days a week?  We did the old tried and true Pros and Cons list.  That only confused us more. 

We decided we needed to consult with Spirit and see how our guts felt.  So we spent several hours out there on Sunday. We sat underneath the Aspens outside the main building.  Aspens have a special role in our lives - nearly 30 years ago, we got engaged under a clump of Aspens so it only seemed fitting that we should consider another life changing event here.  Aspens to me are the party tree of the forest...when the wind blows through them, it sets the tree dancing as all the leaves flutter.  

The sense of “rightness” was palpable.  We felt peace and excitement. The Aspens seemed happy too. W decided we would take it if we were offered the position. 

This is what we have dreamed of for years.  Living in the woods.  No howling dogs.  No school buses rumbling by.  Leaf blowers.  Sirens.  Etc. 

We didn’t want to get TOO excited at the possibility just in case they chose someone else.  As we get older, we endeavor more and more to approach things with open hands – “Not attached to outcome” as the Buddhists would say.  Allowing your sense of peace to depend upon outward circumstances is an exhausting way to live, right?

We got the call the next day.  “We would like to offer you the position…”

To be continued…