“Where do you draw the line?”

So I draw a lot of lines out here while traveling Round America with a Duck. The routes I want or need to take on bikes, buses and trains to get to my desired destinations. The rows for planting seeds on the farms. The art I create.

I realized while deep in thought gathering chicken eggs the other day that I am increasingly drawing lines for how I expect to maintain my dignity not just on this five-month journey but for the rest of my life in a society that is, unfortunately, increasingly undignified. One look at the unsafe lines in the road masquerading as “bike lanes” in so many of our American cities makes that clear.

I can’t control how people treat me. But I can control what I am willing to accept. As always, I can vote with my pedals, forks, dollars, and ballot for the kind of country and world I want. And I can vote with my free will for where I choose to serve as a volunteer, and when it’s best to leave — especially when the forks and the rest of the old camper look like the photo on the top of this post (plus I had additional serious concerns) — without worrying about getting a bad review for leaving (which I got). I sh*t in the woods outside a trailer for 21 straight days not long before this, so I’m not a fussy person. My concerns were legit.

As some of you who are close to me know, I recently showed up (after 30 hours on three buses) at a planned WWOOF workstay experience that exceeded the generous limits of my boundaries. I may or may not go into more detail about that in my book. I’m not sure the details matter, and I don’t want to say anything mean about the person invoIved, as she is handling a lot right now.

I made the heartbreaking decision to leave as quickly as I could. This required me to take a leap of faith. As is the habit of leaps of faith, this whole turn of events turned out to be, of course, a blessing. If that Missouri debacle hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be here right now, in Heaven on Earth on an alpaca farm and eco-spirituality center in rural Kansas surrounded by truly good people doing important things humbly. I’m where I belong.

As a writer, we call things like this new chapters. And so, I’ve updated the chapter outline for my forthcoming book to include a chapter about expectations and tips not just from me but from the WWOOF organization both in the USA and worldwide as well as other people who have WWOOFed or are currently WWOOFing. Here’s the updated outline (see Chapter 5). Here’s a little TikTok about it.

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