The Mama Caravan (take III) - How it came to be

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

“What’s a caravan?” I asked, feeling a little stupid. “A caravan is a band of gypsies traveling through the forest in their wagons,” Chester answered. “Ah, yes.” It was coming back to me now. “Station wagons?” “No, covered wagons! The gypsies travel all through the land, setting up camps around great bonfires, doing magickal tricks, and sometimes, if you cross their palms with a piece of silver, they’ll tell your fortune.”

From Deborah and James Howe’s children’s novel, Bunnicula

Yes, my name also happens to be 'Cara.' And, wow, how my name is a gift that keeps on giving! I was given it because, in Gaelic, it translates to 'friendship.' However, in Latin and Italian my name means 'dear One.' And, in Spanish, my name can translate to 'face.' (How fun it is to introduce myself as 'Face' when we are in Ecuador!) No, however, I did not intentionally set out in a self-proclaimed "Cara-van." Like my son's name, it was yet another twist of wild synchronicity. (Welcome to my life!) You can read more about synchronicity here. After my partner's memorial weekend, my young son and I quarantined ourselves for 2.5 months at the home of two, dear friends in a suburb of San Diego. Again, we were so generously cared for by 'our people' who have provided us with companionship, clothes, toys, rooms - and baths! - to make ourselves at home in. (Plus so much more.) We are fortunate and privileged to be so well-cared for, both by the Universe and our friends. (Even as death sucks and so does losing the love of our lives.) In San Diego, we even had a backyard pool, a foosball table and a Golden Retriever named Charlie to enjoy. Plus, two adult friends to play games of Carcassone and join weekly, Dance Church Zoom sessions. Still, a life spent in isolation with primarily one child and one adult alone together is not normal, or natural. And, as can happen (and as almost did in our case), tensions can build, relationships can break down and extreme dysfunction can ensue. I found myself at my breaking point and needing to create our "Exit" option. My choices were to: rent a room locally, even though most of my son's monthly SSI payment would go towards paying the rent, and ride out this mad year. Or, revisit the RV that we still had in our possession and seriously contemplate taking the road trip that my partner and I dreamt of doing together. My internal voice spoke, loud and clear: invest in the #vanlife and #roadschool my son for the remainder of the year. Before doing so however, I was chatting with some of my girlfriends about it. One woman suggested she and her son, who is the same-age and best friends with mine, join us. Then, two other, soul sisters had "randomly" decided that they were getting out of their house rental lease, buying vans and hitting the road too. Perfect timing, indeed! Together, we all discussed meeting up at various points along the way. We each knew that our individual and collective mental health was our #1 reason 'Why.' So, I announced (via FB - Ha!) that we were departing on "A Mama Caravan." And here we are... 5 months and over ~14,000 miles later, I now type this as my son and I enjoy the warmth of shelter and the conditions of the coming winter here in New Jersey, USA. And, as my heart knew it would bee, ours has been the healing journey that we have needed in order to both forward and celebrate the beautiful life of our beloved Papa Burt. (If you would like to learn more about Burt's legacy then please go here, I am excited to share more about our adventures with you, Cara

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©2020 by Cara H Cadwallader.