The view from the home stretch

Hello from my mom’s kitchen table in Northern California! Since I last wrote to you, we’ve covered a lot of ground. And we hit a big milestone in our personal lives. And now we’re looking ahead at the final miles of the magical adventure that has been the Revolutionary Acts of Optimism Tour.

So about those miles. We’ve spent the past few weeks:

  • bombing across The South (while listening to this incredible podcast series that rocked our world),
  • making a pit stop in New Orleans (my first time!The pics below ask the question “How many beignets are too many beignets?”),
  • wrapping up our summer house concert dates in Texas (we love you, TX!),
  • and starting the final leg of tour in California (of which we also have photo evidence below, of course).

And about that milestone. Guess who celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary last weekend? It was us. ❤️

Then … and now. ⬇︎

It’s been a pretty awesome decade. We spent the second half of our podcast this week doing a 10-years-married check-in. It was a fun and good and deep conversation. And in the first part of the episode we talk about our tour adventures from the last week. (On which, no big deal, someone gave me honorary “metal” status. 🤘🏻)

Listen wherever you listen to podcasts — just search for Misfit Stars — or tune in at

Month three of tour = sunset-chasing time.

The day after the last time I wrote to you, we made our storied “westward turn”: it’s that magical day that happens on every one of our summer tours, on which — after a couple of months of driving south and north and east to cover all the corners of the country — we start driving … WEST.

It’s a monumental day! We’re headed toward the final dates of the tour. We’re headed toward home! We’re headed … directly into the setting sun for 3,000 miles across the country. 😎

I’d be lying if I said that we’re not tired when we come to this part of the tour, and this year isn’t any different. I mean, when you’ve been on the road for the months we’ve been on the road, it’s reasonable to feel tired.

But … even though my body feels somewhat worn, I’m super happy to report that my heart and my spirit feel just as invigorated and fresh as the day we left.

For that, I give the credit to all of you whom we have encountered on this year’s adventure — you have been so loving, so welcoming, so engaged, so eager to go deep and do this with us, that I feel downright buoyant, even as we head into the final leg of a long tour. THANK YOU.

It makes me thing about the long slogs we each face in our lives every day:
— the chronic health challenges,
— the unending hours at work to make ends meet,
— the uphill battles advocating for justice,
— the marathons wading through waves of grief,
— the aches and honest searches for something deeper, something real, something more full in our lives.

All of us, in some form or other, are probably going through some or all of a list like that all the time. I know I am. And if I had to take on those challenges alone … frankly, I’d be toast.

But the good news is that I don’t have to. None of us has to. The stuff we’re facing in our lives is hard, and will likely continue to be hard —
but what makes it doable for me,
what makes it bearable,
what makes it sometimes even a joy to take it on,
is that I can look to my right and my left, and grab hands with the people I keep finding along the way who are just as committed to facing their own stuff with an open heart and a fierce spirit as I am.

You are my kin. My team. My fellow faces turned toward what’s possible. And you are glorious.

Here are some highlights from the last several weeks on tour:

And that’ll do it for today. Here’s to the final stretch. 

Love and sunsets — shannon