First morning on our trip south…first big trip with our skoolie. And I’m crying. I’m overwhelmed. Feeling doomed. I’m thinking this was a big mistake.
How Did I Not Know?
One of the biggest things I’ve learned about long term traveling is…we don’t know hell about ourselves, and our loved ones. Living a busy North American lifestyle with lots of household and personal space doesn’t make us face some of the stuff we have to face when living in small spaces and in each other’s face 24/7.
Not that the issues weren’t already present. I just think we aren’t able to recognize them so clearly. No way to pin point them.
This morning I realized I have sensory overload. Whether this has actually been a long standing issue that I just ignored, I don’t know. I know I’m easily overwhelmed and just thought it was nerves, or lack of sleep (moms-of-many are chronically sleep deprived) that set me up for losing it. Everybody in the family knew I enjoyed big chunks of time alone. Often difficult to achieve for a mom-of-many.
You know that beautiful kitchen counter we put in? I can’t see and enjoy it today because its covered in stuff. And I’m sorta-okay with that, because I understand that we just loaded everything from the cabin last minute into the skoolie and headed out at 6am to catch the Coho/Black Ball ferry to Port Angeles. I knew we’d have some rearranging to do when we were actually living full-time in the skoolie. So the temporary clutter and lack of organization is ok…for awhile.
But the surprising thing to me this morning was when I realized that its the noise that’s overwhelming me. I’ve spoken about noise in small living spaces before but it was more from a lack of privacy perspective, and not freaking our kids out with natural parent noises <smiles>. This is different, though. Its a new level of constant noise I wasn’t anticipating.
I always hated being out in nature when some anal RV’er was running their generator morning and night. Now that’s us! Oh, I hate that. The motor monopolizing the air space. Although its mounted outside near the bus motor its humming away, stealing from the beauty of the rain forest.
Its raining of course. But I find it hard to focus on that sound of nature pattering on the metal roof. Oh, and being cozy warm inside of a structure that has a metal/tin roof during a rain storm is a complete delight to me. I fondly remember snuggling under a down quilt right below the red tin roof of the log house we built with our own hands. Knowing we were warm and dry under the symbol of our hard-work while it pounded on the tin, making pinging noises,…loved it.
The sound is similar in the skoolie. And I’m still warm under down quilts. But its drowned out by the hum of that blasted generator.
The moment of recognition of my overload came when I asked Everette if it was okay to turn the heat of the A/C unit off. The fan was blowing, and I found it too noisy to comfortably have a conversation about What’s for Breakfast. But of course the heat was on because its late October in the Pacific Northwest. Its wet and cold. So everybody wants the heat on.
But the noise.
The heat and fan stayed on.
So I didn’t know what to do with myself. With the noise I can’t escape from.
I crawled under a quilt on my bed at the back of the bus. Right overtop of the generator. And I tried to calm myself down. With a few tears. At least I couldn’t hear the heat fan blowing now. The sounds of the kids and Everette conversing was dulled. No longer do I see the clutter on the counter, nor the mess of pillows and blankets on the couches.
Bedroom curtains are opened. I paid attention to my breath. Through the condensation on the windows I could see the trees of the rainforest. I could appreciate the moss hanging from the branches. I compared the different shades of green.
Greener Than Green
My mother once said, “You’ve never seen green until you’ve seen the greens of Scotland!” I think she also said that after a trip to the Queen Charlotte Islands to visit my aunt and uncle. But anyways, I think here in the Hoh Rainforest there’s probably just as many shades of green as Scotland would boast.
LINK TO POST ON HOH RAINFOREST
Green is my favourite colour. And here I am surrounded by a vast array of shades. It brings me calm. If I can ignore the dampness I’m good. And if somehow I can magnify the raindrops pattering on the roof just a foot above me, I’ll be even better.
PS I have noise-canceling headphones on my Wish List
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