There's a place called nowhere that's hidden in plain sight.
It's a holding ground of sorts, a no man's land, an in-between.
Sometimes nowhere is a place we slouch towards; dragging our ten pound-feet after we lost a job and have no choice but to move home. We reluctantly cram our emotional baggage into a few pieces of actual baggage and now stand in a sea of strangers, waiting to claim what we would rather someone else accidentally take.
Other times, nowhere is a place you metaphorically or literally stumble upon as you veer off the highway coming to an abrupt stop after going 90mph; an unexpected place that we call "the middle of nowhere."
For me, nowhere has been a place of uncertainty, until recently. I used to always know I've arrived when I felt as if I'm experiencing what we could call “a shit-fit” or an “identity crisis.”
I would find myself in this place when I couldn't explain how I was feeling and didn't know why I had the feelings in the first place. In all my soul searching, I'd feel like I was getting nowhere... not moving forward no matter how hard I tried.
Other times, when I found myself on school breaks or in between jobs, I'd feel like my life was going nowhere when I was forced to rest. I'd realize that I liked always having "somewhere" to be because it distracted me from the fear of what thoughts and feelings might find me in the middle of nowhere.
However, lately, I've found that having nowhere to be is actually quite serene when we become curious rather than cautious.
My preferred sense of peacefulness and rest has always found me in pockets of life like driving in the car with my brother, fully present in the moment with nowhere to be.
When we're singing at the top of our lungs to some bluegrass and Americana tunes, listening to the hollow resonation of a banjo being strummed and the suspenseful yet fulfilling breath-like rhythm of a harmonica. As I sing the lines “I used to ride a Mustang. And I'd run that thing on high hopes.'Til they raised the price of dreams so high I couldn't pay" I revel in the rows of Spanish moss that hang above our heads.
I think back to hearing my fourth-grade science teacher telling me that Spanish moss is an epiphyte, so it absorbs its nutrients from the air and water.
I think about the times when I wish I could live as an epiphyte; leaning into the process of merely existing, going nowhere, and still receiving the sustainable life source needed to ensure my existence.
There are times when sustaining yourself feels fruitless and laborious. It feels like invested energy that won't see a return for many years to come, if at all.
In those moments under the moss, I think about what matters and wonder if the very thing we seek for fulfillment is the thing that won't fulfill us...
I wonder whether going somewhere will fulfill a desire that actually requires we go nowhere.
I find that what matters is peaceful moments when the warm, Indian Summer sun is beating through the sunroof, and you experience the enveloping hug of the most welcoming weather and fresh breeze you've ever felt on an October afternoon in the Carolinas.
What matters is when that perfect song plays in that precise moment, and you know that there's nowhere else you need to be except here. Nowhere else.
That is the kind of nowhere I want to be. A place called nowhere, where moments seem to matter.
When you arrive nowhere, life is not measured as the glass being half empty or half full, but completely full because haven't you ever realized that air fills all things?
It fills our lungs, it feeds and fills the Spanish moss, and I'm sure it fills a place called nowhere, too.
I've grown to love leaning into the stillness of feeling like I've found myself going nowhere because as you may have experienced, sometimes the best things simply appear "out of nowhere."
Now that you've read this far, I hope you realize that if you're curious enough, you'll discover that nowhere really just spells "now here." And I'm fairly certain that arriving here, being fully present, is what "nowhere" has been trying to teach us all along.