The past few years have been a slow trek forward.
A quiet journey towards a dream.
But it begins quite a while ago. So I’ll rewind to our lives eight years ago.
Our oldest was turning two, our middle child a chubby little three month old.
Joshua headed off to State Park Ranger Academy.
He returned to us a half a year later.
With an idea wedged in his mind. It was a thought that stuck there relentlessly. (Or at least that’s the way I felt about it. My blog, my story. )
He returned to us not just content and fulfilled being a newly appointed Ranger. Nope. One dream fulfilled, a new one invaded his thoughts. His mind was set upon becoming the State Park Ranger Pilot, a position happily filled at the moment, and far away from our reality.
I wasn’t thrilled. At all.
The thought of him flying in a tiny plane above the desert freaked me out. And as I held our children, the last thing I wanted was for this dream to take off. It went against everything I was instinctually feeling as a new mother.
But the dream held on. And despite my avoiding giving it any breathing room at all…it would not die!
The details were always the same. There was/is only ONE State Park Ranger Pilot…and it’s at Anza Borrego Desert State Park, the largest State Park in California. A desert park. In Southern California.
Ugh. And truth be told, the first moment I left SoCal in our travels twenty years ago, I knew I never wanted to settle down here again, if I had my choice.
And so I held my ground.
It worked nicely for a few short years.
I acted like we were all content, because we were in most facets of life…and he constantly felt unsettled.
A few years into his Rangering we moved from the San Bernardino Mountains up to the Lost Coast. As we moved further up north my soul sighed with happiness. I loved it up there.
But we’d walk down our driveway, sometimes two hours at a time, our long “where-are-we-going” conversations filling the mornings with excitement. And every time the plane would budge in. It seemed to haunt his subconscious.
As we continued to live, settling into our little homestead, the dream was unshakable.
It was like fighting the Fates.
Now, I’d never given much thought to the concept of Fate. It felt like an ancient but ludicrous concept to me. I think when I was younger I always felt pretty free to choose my path. But talking to my love about being the pilot was like talking to someone driven by forces unseen.
It wasn’t just his Grandfather’s being a pilot.
Or his Father’s being a pilot.
Or the uniform.
Or the plane.
Or the skies.
Or the park.
It was about a connection to something he seemed to feel was already set in motion, even with my objections.
So I caved. And in that moment we both felt it. It was a significant feeling of Alignment.
It wasn’t acceptance or giving in as much as simply getting on track with where momentum had already been trying to take us.
Now, I wish I could say that the past four years since we aligned with Fate were somehow simple. But they weren’t.
Leaving our home and friends up north was heartbreaking. I felt like we had to rip off a limb as we tore away.
And of course, moving twice in just a few months while Joshua’s hours kept him busier than ever was incredibly stressful.
Buying a house for the first time proved interesting and educational. Felt like we had to suspend all our beliefs about money and dive into a bottomless hole trusting that the numbers would and will work themselves out.
Finding out that our closest neighbors despise “noisy” children (um, talking in our yard is apparently too noisy) made us question our choices.
And of course homeschooling throughout all of this didn’t make anything simpler.
And then the return to a place I had internally vowed never to live again was…
A test in patience and keeping an open mind and heart.
But rewarding our openness, we’ve been met with everything we felt we were leaving behind–loving family, old and new friendships, and new respect for the beauty of the landscape and climate of the southern state.
And so here we are. We moved down here with a plan. Joshua would be a ground patrol ranger and do everything within his means to secure the Air Patrol One position. And after waiting a year for the vacant position to open, and then another three months for them to announce whether or not he’d gotten the position…It’s now official!
Congratulations Joshua! Air Patrol One Ranger Pilot! Congratulations on listening to, following, and reaching your dream potential! I am so proud of you and all that you have put into this. You’re ability to remain calm, logical, and patient as you forge on amazes me as much now as it did when I met you two decades ago. I love you!