The public library system has been on of the most amazing resources for us while traveling in our van for many reasons. In fact I'm writing this blog post from one. It's cozy here and everyone follows the golden rule of being as quiet as possible. Very few things bring folks from all walks of life to this sort of mutual silence. It's libraries and sleeping babies. That's just about it! It's an introverts safe haven and an extroverts torture room. Both Charlie and I agree that we are most productive when we spend the day amongst the books.
We come for the mentioned quiet, free wifi, local rockhounding/hiking books, and clean bathrooms but we have also received an unexpected social lesson about people. The homeless seek these havens as well. Just as we sit for sometimes 8 or more hours working they are here too. Many of them have apparent mental/social delays, but they too follow the unspoken, golden rule of soft voices and soft steps. I realize that our choice to live in a van is just that- a choice, but some live behind dumpsters and under bridges because they are just out there surviving.
Today I overheard a conversation between two gentleman that shook me a little. One said to the other "Did you sleep under the building last night? I couldn't find a way to keep the wind out." Their quiet chatter had a tone that was so casual as though they were discussing baseball scores. "I do know what lastnight felt like" I thought to myself. It got into the twenties and there was snow, rain and wind gusts that made our van sway through the night. However, we have ways to keep ourselves warm and the means to keep us fed and dry. In this moment I felt so grateful yet my tummy hurt from feeling unworthy as to how I was given a life with opportunity and choices.
Overall, this vanlife experience has brought us so much closer to the beauty in this wonderful country, but it's also given us more insight to scars it holds in its underbelly. So long as I have a smile to give or a dollar to share I will gladly sit across the table from a fellow human being and treat them as such. Nobody chooses to be down on their luck, sometimes we are born to the wrong circumstance. Be good to eachother and be the love in the room. That is something anyone can use. We hope you all have a New Year full of love and helping one another.
Watch this week's video here: