I lived four lives before this one.
The first includes childhood, adolescence, schools in Southern New Jersey and first employment.
The second, a year in St. Thomas followed by a decade in Puerto Rico that began as a beachcomber, morphed into a business in boating and learning about true companionship.
The third, still tropical decade in the in southeast corner of Florida, saw some growth as a business person, and a stumble in a great marriage that never found its footing again.
The Fourth was the California Decade that lasted 20 years. It was a very California period: a discovery and growth of my personal spirituality, a number of superb relationships—each a test, a lesson, or both.
I always had an instinct there was a Fifth Life but never imagined what it could be. Each of my prior lives seemed to take their character from geographic change and I wondered if I had another move lurking within. I often cupped my ear toward other places, listening for siren calls. Did I just imagine music coming from Portland, OR, Sarasota, FL, or the north coast of New Zealand? And, ever so strangely, I wonder if I hear a call from the place where it all began—Bridgeton/Brigadoon, New Jersey.
Or is the Fifth Life on the road? That idea does seem like a logical progression. Or is the year or two on the road a long, labyrinthine trail leading somewhere that will appear as Shangri-La out of the mist one morning?
I can hardly wait to find out.
Happy New Year to all the passengers of the Jolly Swag. To the friends of long-standing who revealed more of themselves and—by so doing—became more precious. And to the new friends, who are adding new flavors and new voices to the conversation.