There are lots of ways to live a life

So I got to talking with my friend Donna. Eight years ago, she dropped her son off at college . . . and then just kept going.

She lived out of her car for a year while volunteering all over the United States — tending trails on public land, staffing gift shops, leading teams and being of service in so many other really interesting ways during her Navy retirement. Her travels took her to a Sierra Club assignment in Maine, where she met Vinnie from New Jersey, who showed up on his motorcycle.

They fell in love over the bonfires, started traveling together in an RV, and got married. They now live rent-free part of the year as docents on a small wild island in Florida maintained by Disney that serves as conservation land as required as mitigation for its expansion. They travel both domestically and internationally the rest of the time.

I talked with my friend Mike, a heart failure survivor and author of multiple books who fell in love with fruit trees and started planting them all over his property . . . and his city. He branched out (so to speak) to create an intern program where high school students learn how to plant, prune and proliferate the presence of fruit trees in their communities. When his interns recently advocated at city hall for a more fruitful community, he smiled contently. He had passed on the passion.

Donna has wings. Mike has roots. They remind me that there are lots of ways to live a life.

The world is filled with opportunities, folks, just waiting for you to experience . . . or to create. And there are new ways forward right where you live. As I song I loved while growing up in the 1970s asked:

“Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know?”

I’ve spent many years recently working on roots — literally (see my blog and book, Food for My Daughters). It’s time (again) for wings. If Round America with a Duck goes well, I’m considering worldwide WWOOFing options next. In fact, I just renewed my passport in preparation.


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