Have you seen the movie Under the Tuscan Sun? Peg & I have watched it several times. But watching isn’t the same as reading the original, and recently I came across the volume in a used book rack. I put it at the bottom of my pile of unread books and it’s been amazing how much getting to this book propelled me through the others ahead of it. Now that I got started I’m amazed (once again) at how much better are the books-from-which-movies-are-made than the movies made from them!
I’m not much further than the prologue and already I’m tickled by the wonderful prose. This is going to be a wonderful read! It’s already crystal that the book will vary significantly from the movie — so I’m putting aside all expectations of a movie like plot and sitting down to enjoy book for what it is.
But I digress. (when don’t I?)
To bury the grape tendril in such a way
that it shoots out new growth
I recognize easily as a metaphor
for the way life must change from time to time
if we are to go forward in our thinking.
Even having gotten no further than the prologue it’s clear that Mayes has some fascinating insights which relate, or parallel, the fulltime RV nomadic life.
I think RV’ers differ on a fundamental level from sticks & bricks dwellers. Most people accumulate things through their life; RV’ers are forced to downsize. Most folks express their personalities through their houses, their real estate, their vehicles. The choice of RV’s is much more limited and while RV’ers may be a bunch of individualistic so and so’s they seem to express themselves more in what they do during their retirement: where they go, who they visit, where they stay.
Real Estate can be a sign of stability and most of the non-rv’ers I know seem to need that feeling of stability; of a single place to call home even though a home can disappear just as quickly as an RV, or a car, or one’s health, or one’s partner. The RV is no sign of permanence, or stability at all. It’s an acknowledgement of change, and perhaps with change, of growth as well. The act of downsizing has been an insurmountable roadblock to more than one wanna-be RV’er. Not everyone can be happy without their “house”, or something that they substitute for a place of personal permanence.
“New Growth” — That’s what setting out on the RV trail is like. I surely have found it so. I bet you other full timers have as well. That first trip or two can overcome newbies: too much of this or not enough of that; like a new seedling out in the burning sun, or reaching for moisture in a parched soil. A few ‘good’ trips, travel going like clockwork, can be all it takes to for a new seedling to grow into a profoundly happy RV’er! And that’s how we move forward in our thinking.
At the taproot, to seek change probably
always is related to the desire to enlarge
the psychic place one lives in…
Once we begin growing as humans, and as RV’ers there is that taproot of our nature that keeps reaching down and down and down, in the struggle to enlarge itself. And metaphorically travel becomes the taproot by which we enlarge our place to live in — not a place maked by longitude and latitude, but the tendrils of personality and the lateral roots of experience.
One of my objectives in retirement was to continue being productive and helpful to others… that is a part of my need to change. It’s part of the psychic place where I live. Humans aren’t designed to live only for themsevles. We are a social species and we live to help and nurture and guide others; even when our own lives aren’t perfect — as no one is perfect and we all have something to share with others.
Don’t you love reading? A simple sentence or two can spawn worlds to consider. And worlds can be verdant or barren — it’s all up to us. Will we look for that which engenders life, or will we stifle life with negativity and judgment. Up to us, I guess. Watch out for those little tendrils…. encourage them to grow and you’ll have a vineyard.
Stop by tomorrow, and I’ll be here to chat.