...with love all things are possible

Believe ...

Believe ...

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The DragonWagon’s Mum - Part 5

Days 7 - 12

Why did I stop writing?  There was a moment when I was confident that Christian and I were in this project together, linked by the magic of Christian’s trip and our connection as free spirits.  As his journey progressed, I read his blogs with relish (and continue to do so,) and somehow I felt my own heart change.  This was NOT my journey, this was not my experience, this was NOT about Cath being in the limelight.  So I stopped writing my part.

I stopped writing and it hurt.  It hurt me, deep down inside and as I've scrabbled around in there over these past few weeks trying to understand what really made me stop he wrote his again.  What was wrong with me?  Jealousy?  Fear?  Sloth?  I can't really say I know, still, and perhaps it'll come out at the end of this piece.  But after reading Christian's new blog today on a grey day in chilly England just after the Winter Solstice ... there was something about the shortest day, the lack of sunlight and the miles between us, that kicked me into gear again.

The DragonWagon was headed from Orlando to Ocala, going east at first (which seemed counterintuitive to me) and then north after staying in Deland.  There's a method to the DragonWagon master's plan (or lack thereof) as he was meeting and old friend there first.  Excellent plan.  However, this morning when I read about his stay at Scott's house, I wept.  These lovely people opening their beautiful home to my son, somehow made him feel inadequate... This is where the adventure gets difficult for me as a mother.  I want to be there on his shoulder, whispering "It's OK.  They're fine with your being here.  Don't say no to the washing machine."  But it turned out right in the end.  If he hadn't left, he wouldn't have found the next angels on the road and he wouldn't have given Scott the chance to chase him with stick and chocolate!

That also made me realize my purpose on his journey.  It's about me learning to let go, it's about me not feeling pulled to "fix" everything every time.  That wonderful phrase I learned a few years ago after my daughter got married, keeps popping back into my head: "You're no longer a manager, you are now a consultant."  Hah.  So true.  Yeah, true but not easy, right?  We are invited into our children's lives and, if we're lucky, we're asked for an opinion or a consultation on occasion.  But my on-the-job-mother-training of 32 years, makes me want to jump in and fix.

It's also a wonderful test of faith for me.  Learning to let go, learning to really trust "everything in God's world happens for a reason."  I knew that north of Deland loomed the extensive Ocala National Forest, home to the Florida Black Bear.  So, here I was, cheerfully telling people that Christian was "somewhere" in the forest (no idea where,) probably having sighted a number of black bears.  Had he seen any? Did he know about this?  Yep, turns out he did.  The road signs also helped.  He was going to traverse it at its widest point, along SR 40.

Worry, I'm told, is like a rocking chair: a lot of movement which gets you nowhere.  So true.  So every day, I woke up with renewed conviction that I'd not make up terrible stories in my head about "lions, and tigers, and bears, Oh My!"  (Thank you Dorothy!)  I'm getting better at it :)

Nothing could make me prouder than to talk to people about what Christian is doing.  His conviction to stay true to his journey is amazing.  He could have stopped on day 1 or day 10 and I would still have been equally proud.  Dropping out of society like that, in this day and age where we're so interconnected and interdependent, thanks (tongue-in-cheek) to technology, is not easy.  Everyone talks about social media, instant responses, and credit scores; about goals and plans, end results and exit strategies.  Christian, however, has defied every single one of those conventions.  He has no planno time limit on anything, no exact destination, and I admire him for that.  I truly do.

Maybe, just maybe, this is part of my purpose, to write about it from the outside.  To remind the curious and the new followers, that Christian's plan is no plan  Lots of dreams, lots of thoughts and plenty of improv are running through his mind, a mind which is nothing like yours nor mine.  

When he was a little boy, maybe about seven years old, Christian drew this extraordinary design for a catapult, right out of his head at the airport as we waited for our flight back to Uruguay from England.  When he showed me the drawing, I was astounded at the detail and even more so when he flipped to the next two pages where he'd drawn each piece (nuts, bolts, screws etc) and labeled how many of each would be required, then on the third page, precise instructions of how to assemble the catapult.  
"How on earth did you do this, Christian?" I asked, my jaw in my lap.
With an impish grin, he tapped his temple, "It's my double-brain, Mummy, just my double brain."
Double-brain is right.  Where you turn right, he turns left.  Where you take the safe road, he always takes the less traveled path.  Teachers at his schools were perplexed by this boy who would never give the simple answer, but instead, always, select a (correct) answer so far outside the box that it rattled everyone.  

Yeah, the box.  Most people on earth live inside the safety of "the box."  Some people live with the roof of the box open to let in a bit of the outside, and a few actually venture outside the box.  A handful of people live completely outside the box, some venturing far and wide, but keeping the box in sight.  But Christian?
Christian looks quizzically at me, "There's a box?"
This is where you get to smile, because when you wrap your head around that, you begin to get a glimpse inside his world and maybe, just maybe, an idea of why he's doing what he's doing.

Yes, it's an amazing journey and I am privileged to be his ambassador on the ground.  For the moment all I know is that we've convinced him to exchange the warmth of his tent in the forest, to spend Christmas with us in freezing Philadelphia (where his sister Tany lives with her boys) and he's agreed.  We're so thrilled.

So Merry Christmas everyone, we'll return him to the forest in time for the New Year and a brand new adventure.  Until then, thank you to all angels on the road, each and every one of you; thank you to those who have commissioned work (that is what keeps him fed); to those who read his blog and cheer him on (that is what fuels his joy;) and to all the rest of you who are waiting to continue this journey, albeit vicariously, may God bless you and keep you safe tonight and always.


  1. I love the adventure Christian is living and I love the adventure you are learning. Both of you make reading for me ... fun


  2. Thank you Barbie. Nothing could give me greater pleasure.


Unless otherwise noted, all articles are written by Cath Rathbone. (Copyright Catherine (Cath) Rathbone and Noony Brown)