IN CELEBRATION OF THE FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF MY EXPERIENCE IN LIVING OUT OF MY CAR, I AM POSTING A SERIES OF JOURNAL ENTRIES NEVER BEFORE REVEALED. THE HOPE OF MY WALDEN SERIES IS TO SHARE BOTH A JOURNEY AND A STORY OF MY ATTEMPTS TO LIVE AND FIND A REAL AND LIVING GOD. I HOPE THE SNIPPETS ENTERTAIN AND INSPIRE YOU AS MUCH AS MY EXPERIENCE OF THEM HAS ENTERTAINED AND INSPIRED ME.
Virginia storms come over slow and warm in the springtime.
The clouds hang low and creep over the treetops dropping inches of rain and highlighting the sky with lightning. The best night in my journey is spent on top of a back yard fence. My friend Brent sitting next to me watching the storm over take hwy 7100 and come for us.
Brent was the first guy to ever respond to my ideas with excitement instead of casual, condescension…he wasn’t humoring my passion, he wanted to do it himself. Talking to him I was no longer a silly idealist, but I was an adventurer. I was brave. When I think of friends who came on an adventure with me I think of him. I think of the storm.
I parked in front of his house and when the storm had passed, slept in my car along the street in his neighborhood. It was the third time I awoke to tapping on my window pane. Brent was coming back from a morning run. Oh God! He scared me! But I laughed and knew it was time for me to mosey over to the GMU parking lot and take a shower. One of his neighbors watched me curiously move from the back seat to the driver’s seat of my car, sharing in my secret for a few minutes until I drove away.
Brent was not afraid of the eccentric therefore he was not afraid of me.
In truth I would never have lived in my car had Brent responded differently that fateful night in Barnes and Nobel. But his casual, nonchalant response told me that I was among a friend cut from the same cloth. I would not partake in my adventure alone.
I never did get to write for his blog. My thoughts and emotions during the journey kept hidden in a vault until now. But I’ll never forget that first night and how he welcomed my strangeness to have an equal part of the conversation. Maybe that’s what Brent added the most in my searching for realness…He gave me an equal part at the table of ideas and possibilities. My dreams weren’t foolishness before him…they were cool. And for the first time, as a girl, I felt allowed to be adventurous without judgment or ridicule.
I’m not sure I understood what a gift that was, but I do now. Five years later I can say that it changed my life forever.