February 2010 my friend Dan and I set off for Texas in his car during a snow storm. 3 Days later, after regrouping and resting at his parent’s house just outside of Austin, we set off for the Gulf Coast. This time we ditched the car and took only our bikes, a set of paniers and a bike trailer (great Austin craigslist find). For the next 3 weeks we would grow closer than either of us ever had with another human, see spectacular sites in the open lands of Texas, witness and be a part miraculous turns of events, and eventually make it to South Padre Island and back. Within 3 days of returning to his parents house we had made our way to Austin’s strip of tattoo parlors, and, after hours of searching, had found someone who could tattoo us that evening. Her name was Natalie from Montreal and she had just bought a bike earlier that day. We each had the sanskrit word Sadhana (meaning spiritual practice or work and further inspired from Ram Dass’ Be Here Now) within a bike frame emblazoned on our legs. In part To Remember the amazing, spiritual happenings privy to those on bikes. It was truly a consciousness-altering experience.

After the trip we tried to go around the Great Lakes, starting in Indianapolis, but circumstances proved otherwise. Dan had 8 flat tires in 2 days and on the first evening my elderly dog managed to sniff her way into a stored bag of dried amanita muscaria in my room at home and ended up sweating and purging all evening. Needless to say, my mother and sister were quite alarmed, and, at this point, Dan and I were equally willing to turn around and try again later.

Within that week I found my way to my aunt’s house in northern Indiana and worked on a few organic farms in the area (one of which is budding Prairie Winds Farm), hoping to aid in further establishing a local food system there. Discouraged and lonely, I wound up in my college town of Bloomington in south-central Indiana by December. There I pursued various healing practices and community building and immersed myself in farm work and helping in the formation of the recently approved urban Dandelion Ecovillage (outdated website with more information).

In July of this summer I went on a road trip with some friends I’d met doing ecovillage and permaculture work with our friend Michael Ismerio as he was calling some square dances throughout Missouri. It was a great time and we square danced ourselves through the weekend and ended the tour at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage to visit our friend Kim who had been living there as a work exchanger for 2 months. (Note to Big Kids: Check out the City Museum in St. Louis!). Our stay only lasted 2 days, but I enjoyed it so much I returned for another month there, and eventually visited the two surrounding communities (Red Earth and Sandhill) and journeyed to visit the Possibility Alliance and Butterfly Hill about 40 miles southwest in another month’s time. While much could be said about these community experiments, suffice it to say that visiting these ecovillages was inspiring! And, as I have returned to Bloomington for the winter to housesit for my friends Susan and John, I find myself hungering to hit the road on my bike, alone or with pals, to continue in exploration and discovery.

So I sit in the discomfort juxtaposing my previous commitment to housesit for the next few months paired with my hunger for exploration, and hope that clarity comes concerning the details furthering the journey seeking that which is in my heart. To quote Ethan Hughes, one of the founders of the Possibility Alliance,

“I know that if [the roof] fell on me right now, I would be content. I feel like I’m living my life to the fullest, and I go to bed feeling very content. I see that what a lot of people are lacking is not food, shelter or clothing. I have friends who have their Ph.D’s, and they’re not content. I think content means living everything that’s in our heart, no matter what the risk.”

I am willing to take the risks – whether it’s disapproval (my own and theirs in choosing to break the 2 month commitment), venturing in cold weather on my bike, or choosing to stay here if I feel it is in line with my spirit (and so invest this winter’s hibernation in inner spiritual work, hone fermenting skills and more thoroughly plan for the adventure). For me at this point, it is of the utmost importance to begin living each day in line with my spirit’s calling, pursuing what I love and what blesses me and everything else. It is not a question of if, but when — when I will continue to gain experiential knowledge in the workings of the universe and fundamentals of starting a practical land experiment.

While I work the details out/they are worked out, I will post inspiring land projects that I would like to learn from, along with journal entries from my first sadhana bike adventure, and anything else along these lines. Whether the trip happens starting in November or Next February (2012!), It Will Happen!