Two years ago come spring I inquired to an ad on Craigslist for pasture lease in Shelton, WA. I was in Olympia for a few days to complete my registration at The Evergreen State College and begin what would become an arduous process of moving. Massive life changes were forcing me out of my home on San Juan Island and I was making hard decisions fast. I didn’t know if Olympia was where I wanted to live or if Evergreen was the right school for me but I knew I had to do something and Olympia seemed as good a place to start over as any.
I had been scouting the listings for housing and horse boarding for weeks without finding anything and was starting to worry that moving with three horses and three dogs would be an impossible feat. But something about the ad’s description of idyllic setting with goats and chickens and small family tugged at my heartstrings. I dialed the number and Heather picked up immediately. I asked her if she would consider renting me the pasture for my horses and also allow my mobile tiny home, with me and my three dogs living in it, and which would need water and electricity. She said yes, and told me to come see the property. But we got halfway to Shelton from Olympia and I had some serious bouts of wishy-washy feelings. Shelton seemed too far from campus, or rather… too far from home, as if the extra thirty miles was beyond my emotional capacity, adding insult to injury. I was traveling with my friend Danny, who was along for the surfing but who complicated things further because he happened to be living with me and didn’t want me, or the house, to leave. We pulled over at the junction of 101 and Route 3 and I remember the day so clearly as it was bright, warm, and sunny for early spring. I called Heather and told her we had changed our minds and wouldn’t be coming, that the commute from Olympia was longer than I thought and that I didn’t want to waste anybody’s time needlessly. I sat in our farm truck on the side of the highway and listened whilst Heather talked me into coming to meet their family. Later on, after we would become friends, Heather told me she had had a strong feeling about me and just knew, intuitively, that we were supposed to meet.
What was supposed to be an afternoon’s tour of Heather and Ty’s mini farm turned into an invitation to dinner and free overnight camping. And whilst I did not end up moving my tiny house nor my horses to the Heslop’s, they introduced me to their friends John and Patty O’Sullivan from whom I rented a different tiny house and to whose property I eventually moved my own… a long and lovely heart story I will save for another posting. One year of friendship and college courses later and I received the news that I had been awarded internationally for photography and invited to exhibit my work in Barcelona. And in the same week, Ty Heslop accepted a job at the military base in Rota, Spain and they decided to move there with their entire family. The Heslops departed on September 15, 2018, and my plane left for Barcelona on October 1st. After the opening ceremonies of the Barcelona Foto Biennale were complete, I rented a car and traveled the length of Spain to visit the Heslops as they settled into their new life in Rota. I’m not sure who was more excited to see whom… me, the Heslops, or the dogs… but it’s needless to say that we all take our Craigslisting pretty seriously ;)
When your heart longs for what it knows, a familiar face can take the place of the entire world you left at home. The following is a photographic series of Brock and Brody Heslop, who have taught me that the world is the length of a little boy’s leap, and as large as his dreams to leap again, and again.
Taken in Rota and Bolonia, Andalucia, Espana.