Melbourne: The Cabin in the Sky

If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally) and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and, if you are prepared - most of all - to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself...then truth will not be withheld from you.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

These words bring me back to the first days and weeks in St. Kilda. A bare vulnerability overpowered by sheer determination to succeed, every day a mission and every task to be conquered. Stripped from everything I once thought as true, like viewing the world with a new pair of eyes. Reinvigorated my the most normal things. An overload of colors and smells and brightness to the senses.

I remember sitting on the back terrace with Jan, the British woman Carly and I rented our flat from. We sipped tea in the scorching heat and she puffed a cigarette in a white tunic. There was a sense of ease and calm with the sunshine beating down on us, she was our bohemian mama and in her space everything would be okay. 

She told us the name her friend gave for this space - they called it the Cabin in the Sky, for the floor to ceiling windows in the front and back, and the little bridge that separated it from the rest of the apartment building. The Cabin in the Sky had Christmas parties and Balinese poofs and artwork from Japan, it had been well lived-in and well-loved.  Carly and I listened, wearing summer dresses like the first day of school, listening astutely like the first class in fall. Just as we were about to leave, she pauses over her tea and in her British tongue says,

"only thing you can guarantee in a day is the suns gonna rise
and the suns gonna go down 
and as long you've got that you've
got to be okay with that" 

I paused and replayed those words in my head. At a time when I was questioning everything she made it all seem so simple. The first teachings of many. I didn't realize then when I decided to travel, I was inherently making myself a student to life.

These lessons from the road are the greatest ones I've ever learned.