Following an urge, I moved most of my possessions into a storage unit near Ithaca last fall. I left my temporary Pennsylvania residence in early February for an extended road trip with no apparent destination. Sure, I was aware the bulk of my belongings were stored in the Finger Lakes region of New York, but was uncertain that would be my final destination. It took over six weeks of meandering to land in Ithaca. Rather quickly, I responded to an inclination to rest here for a bit. It felt a bit unusual to be vacationing in a vehicle in the midst of winter in upstate New York. But I soon found, I was not alone. Others were roosting in harsh winter conditions, but seemed to manage. Several times, when meeting folks, I would be asked, “What brings you to Ithaca?” My answer was mostly to shrug my shoulders and say, “I don’t know. I just got here.” An affirmative response was often, “I had the same experience several years ago and I am still here.” It seemed comforting that others had followed similar leadings and were still here apparently thriving.
After a few days camping in my car, I decided to treat myself to a room. I became roommates with two others in a house on South Hill in Ithaca. Next I landed in a volunteering position with a group providing meals to anyone who was hungry. This felt appropriate and fit with my leanings of how we should be treating each other. It also had a benefit of introducing me to a larger community of like minded folks. Shortly other opportunities for engaging in helpful rewarding works sprang up. These offered me the chance to explore out from Ithaca and find other things that may provide pull for me to be here.
I found a wealth of abandoned rundown structures all around this area. A long time dream of mine was to obtain such a place and restore it to useful accommodation. I feel like a kid in a candy store with so many locations that would fill that desire. I hesitate to move quickly in that direction lest I settle into the wrong spot. Recently, I decided to stay here for a year and observe which of these gems is moving toward me. In the meantime, it seems I am expanding my connection with this community and that feels good. I am not sure what home would feel like, but for possibly the first time, I am not experiencing consideration to move on.