Travelers in the Mist (revised)

A couple of days ago, a friend came to visit. During our conversations, it became apparent that many of our desires, with respect to places we might like to live, hinge on climate. Especially the tolerability (or lack thereof) of summer heat and humidity. And, in my case, the absence of chiggers and any related bugs that might drive me insane. Ultimately, the conversation led us to conclude that we could live comfortably in Hot Springs Village during the winter months, but summer’s heat and oppressive humidity, coupled with the presence of flesh beating chiggers, makes summertime an almost intolerable timeframe. The idea of moving to a friendlier place is appealing, but most such places are out of our reach, financially, and would require leaving friends behind, because our friends might have many reasons to stay, long term. The conversation finally steered us to a conclusion: perhaps many of our closest friends might be interested in and willing to join us in an annual migration to more comfortable climes each year–not buying second homes, which few could afford, but by renting places for 1 to 3 months. Perhaps a small group of renters could secure favorable rates, year after year; but that conversation can wait. First, we must identify who might be interested, then collectively decide on a place. Then, take action! Each person or couple would be free to rent a place that suits them, though communal arrangements might appeal to some. Each renter would be free to determine the timeframe, within a collectively agreed window, to rent. The idea, obviously, is to recreate the concept of a nomadic “tribe” that moves in concert with climatic comfort. This may sound outlandish, but we are serious. At least I am. And I think I am not alone. So, fair warning: I may approach you with a serious proposal, hoping for a serious response.


It took awhile, but we think we have decided: if the nomadic lifestyle we propose works out, we will stay where we are. Probably in the same house; just modified enough to suit us. We’ still poking around in Fayetteville and will explore Tulsa and Little Rock, but we hope to find a friendlier climate solution that will keep us closely connected to our tribe. Solutions often require compromise, especially solutions that are within limited financial means. You do what works to be happy, if you can.


I encountered a wonderful phrase that might describe friends who might join us as we explore our potential annual migration to friendlier climes:

Travelers in the mist.

We are venturing into the unknown. We are explorers. This phrase is based on an Osage term to describe members of the clan who take the lead during a new migration. I love the way the phrase feels as it rolls off my tongue. I can imagine who might join us in this experience. I hope they will.


It’s just now 6 a.m. and I am ready to roll. I’ve been sitting in the “living room” area of our miniature motel suite for more than an hour, waiting for the day to blossom. I look forward to a bit of exploration today.


Minds can change. Lives can change.


I felt the need to revise today’s post…to add a thought.

It’s possible to feel a melancholy happiness or an uplifting sadness. Not all emotions are cut and dried. Some wither into beautifully humid stalks of mildewed hay, brittle but flexible with the proper grip. I sometimes wear sadness beneath the happy face, allowing its comfort to wash over me and protect me from feeling only numbness. Numbness is sometimes preferable to pain, but not always. Pain awakens reality, causing me to catch my breath before I forget, for the last time, how to breathe. It’s the same with attraction. You have to want, lest you forget how to love. I don’t remember how to forget how to hate.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Travelers in the Mist (revised)

  1. John says:

    Yes, sir, I imagine that’s absolutely true for you!

  2. davidlegan says:

    Damn right, it’s possible. I feel a meloncholy happiness every time tI think of my three adult kis and the children they once were. And when I think iof my late parents, it is overwhelming.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.