We’ve been out of work and out of an apartment for two weeks now. The car is littered with random shoes, bits of recycling that need to find a home, and pieces of clothing tossed into the back seat while speeding down the freeway as the cool mornings give way to warm spring afternoons. The road thus far has led from Chattanooga to Asheville, Nashville, Huntsville, Sewanee, and back again to Asheville. Soon, the wheels of the Matrix will turn north towards Philadelphia. We don’t know where or when we will have a place to call home again. We are living in the unknown.
New Zealand is so far away that it is tomorrow. That is where we are trying to go: into the future. But in the present, we lie awake at night in other people’s bedrooms wondering if we’ll make it or not. When the morning comes, we expectantly open our email to see if a job offer has landed there and breath a sigh of frustration when we see that nothing has arrived; another day of waiting has just begun.
I sat in the dentist chair yesterday with the hygienist sticking her implements into my wide open mouth, asking me if my wife and I were the “bicycle people”. And though I have not worked a bike tour in close to a year now and my bike is slowly turning to rust in someone’s basement, I grunted an acknowledgment that yes, we were indeed the “bicycle people”. She asked me if I knew how many people would love to trade places with us. I thought about all the sleepless nights we’ve had recently, the confusion over whether or not we are making good decisions, and our bank balance that for the foreseeable future will only be heading in a negative direction. Once her hands were removed from between my jaws and I could again use my full powers of communication to respond, I glanced up at her and said: “there are pros and cons.”