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  • Writer's pictureJody Grose

Always Home

I am a man who values roots and community. I am now challenged to look outside the self-imposed box I have lived in for most of my life. My mum’s death, and the recent selling of her condo- the family gathering place for over 35 years, and my recent retirement have opened new questions and possibilities. My daughter Sarah just started her nursing career in California, and son Tucker recently moved to Boston to pursue his coaching career at the prep school / collegiate level. The men’s community I spent years in building has dissolved with men moving away or withdrawing from the work…So as Sarah said recently,” Hey dad, you can go wherever you want.” The reality to this innocent, yet truthful statement landed as quite challenging for me. Where am I going? Is one of the central questions asked by Sam Keene in his book, Fire in the Belly. What is keeping me here? Where is my belonging?These question reminded me to a powerful poem by Antonio Machado:

“Mankind owns four things That are no good at sea: Rudder, anchor, oars, And the fear of going down.”

Fear is the truth. To go to the unknown has me passively staying here. Yes, I have my island retreat center and the programs I offer creating a home base, but has my mentor used to say, “So.” I can go anywhere I want, what am I waiting for?

I decide to wait no longer, I have bought, fixed up, and now headed out on the road in my RV. I write from Albuquerque, New Mexico. An early awareness was the internal tension between Freedom and the desire for comfort, predicability and security. Yes I am free to decide where and what I'm doing at every turn. And the unpredictability about where Im staying? How long will the batteries provide power when I'm off the grid? What the hell am I doing out here? All present a tension for security and comfort. Most people I've told about my trip have responded with some version of longing to do the same. However, when I inquire why they haven't, often they express some level of fear about going out alone with no plan. The pull of comfort and predictability is strong. May you have the courage to live the outrageous life you were meant to live.

Where have you allowed comfort and security to stop you from risking? How can you create freedom in your life? What role has you boxed in?

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