Of oatmeal and itchy feet

I’ve got a three-week beard and nothing else to do. Tomorrow I’m off.

Stuart Highway road sign pointing to Darwin and Katherine in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Northern Territory crossroads

Darwin was my home for eighteen months and in some ways I’ll miss it. This was my reprieve after the grind through Asia. It gave me familiar faces, food in the fridge and even a bit of money in my pocket.

But fond memories are a poor excuse to stay. There’s one road out of Darwin and I need to take it.

I’m desperate to see red earth, to stand in the middle of nowhere and know I’ve arrived. I want to squint and spit with old cattlemen, hear the floorboards in dusty roadhouses and sleep beneath the Southern Cross, giving thanks for all I don’t understand.

Mostly I need to leave someone behind.

The kid who left the Arctic in 2009 will go no further. He was more ego than experience, begging for joy and misery without being prepared for either. He thrilled for a fight, always ready to test himself against an invisible hand. He could do anything, never knowing that sometimes he shouldn’t.

I’ve outgrown that person, this city. I’ll leave them quietly and without regret, taking with me the small wisdom of knowing what I seek.

And tonight, as the road curves over the horizon like the end of a beautiful question, I smile and wonder if I haven’t found it already.

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8 responses to “Of oatmeal and itchy feet

  1. “The small wisdom of knowing what I seek” – I wouldn’t call that a small knowledge. It took me nearly 2 years of intense searching to find mine. One of the best things I’ve ever found.

    Are you back on the bike then or have you joined the camper-van crowd?

  2. hi mike,
    back on the road again. Enjoy the outback and the space. Lovely to hear from you again. When you get to Melbourne let me know
    paul. Sapa friend

  3. Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look.
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    Outstanding blog and outstanding design.

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