“Four hoarse blasts of a ship’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage.
In other words once a bum always a bum. I feel this disease is incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless.
We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.
– John Steinbeck, Travels With Charlie
Andy and Vicki are from the north of England. They are camped out along the river in an empty lot not far from our apartment in Porto. It’s not an official camping spot but many camper vans park there and no one bothers them. I like when empty space get used in this way. It reminds me of the way the world used to be for wanderers.
Andy builds yurts and plants hardwood trees. Usually they travel in their twenty foot army green truck for two months in the winter. But this year they have to go back at the end of November. The summer was so wet in Britain Andy couldn’t do his work because the ground was so soggy.
As they enjoyed the sun and the view from their “back porch” we talked about trees and the amazing book I’ve just started to read, “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World” by Peter Wohleben.
If you read this book you’ll never look at trees the same way again.