The van is named: May I re-introduce you to Luna.
I have to give credit where it is due: My mom pretty much named it. I did my best at asking my friends for input and advice, thinking it would be nice to solicit clever university-student wisdom and thoughtfulness. Here are some highlights from that unfortunate facebook census:
- Pork Chopper
- Rollin Basket
- Wheelin Rudy
- Southern Alberta Advantage
- The Hop on Can’t Stop
- Goldie Hawn
- Elm Golden Moon
- Oh Henry
I love my friends. But damn, those are weird names. Will those be the upcoming names of our generation’s “hippie children”? Gone are the days of Soulflower, Autumn and Daisy. No. My kid is Pork Chopper.
Anyways, she’s Luna now. Luna is a Roman goddess, the divine embodiment of the moon, carrying all the qualities traditionally associated with moon energy. She also provides safety in travel (excellent) and, more specifically, is a protector of charioteers. (source.) Here’s hoping that this van grows into her name.
Luna is chock-full of healing powers!
The big journey begins soon – only one more day! My partner and I will be traveling to our favourite hot springs in the interior BC for a week of rest and healing. Anyone who’s soaked in natural springs can attest to their deep restorative power. Combine this with a tranquil cedar forest, outdoor tenting and simple, fresh food, and you have a recipe for a good time. We’re also bringing a natural pharmacy of sorts along for the ride.
About 20 different herbs and spices should be enough for a wide variety of tonics and infusions. A lot of common seasoning herbs (read: under-estimated) are actually quite potent for healing work. We’re bringing the ubiquitous rosemary, thyme and marjoram along for their powerful antibacterial/antiseptic/antiviral properties. They should help kick out any foreign bacteria and keep the system nice and clean. Elder flower, red clove, nettle and burdock are all bitters renowned for their detoxifying properties and should really activate the liver to help cleanse to blood and expel toxins. We also have a ton of mint, licorice and chicory to aid digestion and soothe the intestinal tract. Echinacea is a intense detoxifier and immune-booster that I find extremely effective. Plus, there’s this random tin of some herb that is really tasty, but I have no idea what it is. Hopefully not poisonous.
And that’s just the herbs! Luna will also have an arsenal of essential oils, including juniper berry, tea tree and cedar amongst others — excellent to mix into carrier oils and to apply topically for desired effects. Or just to smell happily. Our little mobile apothecary is also going to have a goodly amount of dietary supplements (3-6-9 oil, spuralina, multi-V, etc). I have no idea why this is so exciting. I think it’s because normally when I’ve gone camping/travelling in the past I’ve had to make sacrifices as to how I am going to eat. But having the extra cargo space of a van (versus a backpack) opens up a whole new realm of luxury.
“But surely,” you say, inquiringly, “Surely you don’t have that much excess space in your vehicle. After all, I saw the photos of the interior space. How can you afford to cart around non-essentials?”
I suppose the answer lies in defining what is essential. For me, health is essential. Physical nutrition is very important, but I think that it is equally important to pay attention to the “subtle nutrients” we are “feeding” our emotional and spiritual bodies as well. For example, there is not a lot of legitimate research that validates the effects of essential oils that so many claim have helped them overcome illness X. Yet, the oils help people. And they have an effect. Perhaps not at a measurable level, but just because science has not yet advanced to the point that we can quantify data from more subtle planes of existence does not mean such treatments should be discounted. Yes, users should know that what they are doing has no scientific merit per se. And that’s OK. It should not leave this person open to ridicule from skeptics, nor should it give them the right to proclaim alternative therapy X as the be-all-end-all. Moderation in all things. If it works, it works. Mind your own business. (I’ve been reading a lot of skeptic blogs lately and they peeve me to no end.)
This is a segway to what many would call another space waster: Luna’s new shelving unit has a drawer of my favourite stuff.
Bedside drawer contains fun healing stuff that I use for meditation, reiki, shamanic stuff and intuitive whatevers. Sage, Paulo Santo, a bunch of crystals, a bunch more crystals, a singing bowl… you know, that kind of stuff. For me, these are items that carry a certain energy. Opening up these boxes is like walking into a church. I feel a sacred energy descend upon me when I smell the dried sage and when I roll a quartz into the palm of my hand. These are allies that help me focus. They are tools of a different sort of trade — not to imply that I am a master tradesman by any means, though! I simply tend to keep things around me that make me feel centered and calm, and over the years certain objects have consistently done so. Thus the select few have been rewarded with a VIP placement in Luna’s special drawer.
And, last but not least… Roll your clothing!
A solid piece of advice given to me a year ago, and passed now onto you: When you’re on a big trip, don’t fold your clothes — roll them instead.
This applies for any sort of bag that opens wide. Notice how the rolled clothing allows me to select from 8 different pants/shirts without having to touch anything. The folded clothes on the right have to by physically flipped through in order to get to a desired shirt. Over time, this adds up to unorganized, messy piles of semi-folded clothes, while the rolled clothing simply stays rolled until needed. This method also saves space — not by a huge margin, but it’s noticeable.
Hoping to get one more in before taking off for a (non-internet) break at the hot springs!