Ah, the almighty library. It may well be that no group appreciates her unsung treasures more than the modern nomad. Internet access, electricity, DVDs, and oh yes, even plenty of – gasp – printed words. Ostensibly free for the taking as well, but those who pay taxes know that the free lunch is but an illusion. Still, an undeniable bargain.
And every now and then, one catches the library equivalent of lightning in a bottle, as pictured above – all of the usual amenities, but with the addition of a great view, a comfortable place to sit and work, and perhaps best of all, above average quiet policy enforcement.
Such was the scene yesterday in the town of Basalt, following a hasty escape from Aspen's oppressive decadence immediately after waking. Yes, I did stealth it up there for a night, though mainly because after having resolved the muffler incident, it seemed like a good time to call it a day. And yeah, okay, partially to prove that it (free camping in Aspen) can easily be done.
Hm. It should be interesting to see what search engine activity results from that little parenthetical.
Moving on, I've been giving some thought to my mud-based exploits of the other day, and wish to retract my use of the word "stuck." There is, I now realize, no such thing as "stuck" in the profoundly liberated realm of the modern day nomad, which goes a long way towards explaining my calm throughout the whole affair.
Most folks get unexpectedly held up while going somewhere, or more accurately, while having to be somewhere ASAP. To/from work, to/from shopping, to/from social stuff...since most people are in the midst of having to get somewhere anytime a breakdown occurs, it's easy to see why such disruptions are usually met with frustration, stress, and the general sense that the universe is out to get you.
Contrast that with me and my nomadic/minimalist brethren – it's true that we may often be going to/from somewhere, but we almost never have to arrive by any set time, if even at all. Add to that the beauty of being home at all times, and you see how we can appreciate that age-old adage more than most: wherever you go, there you are.
Whether camped out high atop some mountain without a care in the world or mired in mud in the valley below, it's all just stuff happening, and an opportunity to collect meaningful experience. While it is certainly possible for anyone to recognize and live this basic truth, minimalist/nutjob-in-a-van or not, living small and without much of a strict agenda makes doing so easier and often even perfectly natural.
That may be the biggest selling point to this simple life. One way or another, we're all going to get "stuck" from time to time, no matter whether the offender is mud, terrible traffic, a long line at the bank, or a delayed flight. Even though we all have the ability to choose how we react when things go awry, a harried mindset will rarely pass up the chance to make an overly emotional decision for us. And if the relentless busyness of modern life rarely chooses wisely in such cases, isn't the alternative worth considering?