Those Whom I Never Would Have Known To Have Existed

My journeys over the past 5 years (and the odd twenty or so before) have allowed me to meet some amazing people.  Across my path has traveled many  individuals, each with their own story and road to travel.  Looking back, I see many that have come and gone, a beautiful web of trails through life.

I spent the past two weeks on a ten-day project down at the Chadwick ATV Use Area, part of the Mark Twain National Forest’s Ava District in Southern Missouri.  We spent our days working on the ATV trails, building fences, cutting out the overgrown brush, reclaiming old trails to prevent erosion, and sweltering in the humidity and the sporadic rain.  It was there at Cobb Ridge Campground that another path crossed my own, and I have been blessed by a chance meeting once again.

The path was one of a family who has taken up the reigns of the nomadic life, putting my claims of being a nomad to shame.  For the past six years they have traveled, all eight of them together in a 42 foot camper, across the United States, serving and volunteering throughout their adventures.  (Visit The Lemonade Digest to follow this beautiful family through their adventures.)

On several occasions, I sat and listened to their stories, their adventures, as they praised their children and poured out love to those they had met on the road.  And in those moments, my heart leaped with a joy that I had not sensed in many years.

There is a joy in meeting new people.  It’s as if you discover something lost deep within your soul and the warmth of a strangers smile melts away your fears and assumptions with every passing conversation.

I’ve been blessed with many friendships that span the world: from the children of Agule who called me Lion to the men and women I served with aboard the Africa Mercy, the various members of several different teams throughout my time in AmeriCorps to those I studied and lived beside through college, this web of paths have crossed so many barriers that I could have never faced myself.  Each one has brought joy to my heart, even as our paths parted and the world continues to turn.

Something that they said last week has echoed ever since:  While talking of their journeys, they shared a beautiful response that their daughter gave when asked about how felt about this several year adventure and traveling full-time.  She stated that, if it weren’t for this adventure, she would have never known these people ever existed.

If I had not had the courage to travel to Uganda, join the crew of the Africa Mercy, or serve with AmeriCorps, all these people that I have met over the years, and all the blessing that have come from their presence, would be foreign to me.  I would not know them.  I would not even know that these people I now consider friends and family ever existed.

You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of living and knowing people in more than one place.
– Miriam Adeney

I pray that our paths cross again on this journey of life, each friend that I have encountered.  My heart leaps for joy because I know that when the day comes, we will share our stories with one another, laugh and love one another to the fullest.


  1. That quote by Miriam Adeney is so true! I think it was why I barely thought twice about coming back to Japan. It is also why I’m itching to visit other places too.

    I’m always wanting to talk to the foreign tourists that I pass by here in Kanazawa. Whenever I do I get to meet some interesting people and learn part of their stories.

  2. That is a really sweet post. It was our pleasure to meet you. People like you are what makes this country great and our travels worth while. Sheri -The Lemonade Digest

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