Wednesday, October 16, 2013


October 16.

I got here one year and one day ago. I came with the first snow and Alaska is my fairy tale.

beach snap
The mountains are just as wild and wanton as the day I arrived, the ocean the same angry range of roiling aqua, the sunsets just as vast and fire and purple, the boats still nestle and sleek and buoy and rust in the harbor.

The only thing different is me, is people, is friendships. Now I have a whole stack of experiences to go with the scenery and a diverse handful of strong beautiful passionate women to call friends, a backbone of wild, wise, witchy inspiration and love.

Looking back, once again comfortable, once again at the summit, no longer the new kid, it's hard to remember how lonely and frightened I was when I got here, how much of a leap of faith it all was. And now I'm back there. Once again packing for the zesty titillation of uncertainty, once again boxing and labeling and saying goodbye and bequeathing my possessions. Once again I'm leaving loved ones, feeling blue, and fighting the tide of comfort, the waves lapping "stay, stay, stay."

The hardest part about leaving isn't getting on the plane. Its not even the airport sigh of relief on my way slump against the backpack check your watch, your ticket, your messages. Its the days before. Its the hugs. It's looking into the eyes of a friend you wish you could stay close to forever. Or wondering what it was about you that made me grin wildly, that secret ingredient I probably won't ever know.

But oh! the mania, the wild glee yee heeee inner whoop of impending freedom, road boots, new faces, lying in airports and scrawling poems with cold shaking fingers and every street and town and person a tumbling wide eyed untapped miracle.....

feelin' tuff
I'm ready to go alone. I'm tougher now. Alaska taught me that. I've lived alone for the first time (in the woods),chopped wood, hauled water, started fire, caught mice, wrestled fish, skinny dipped in ocean, walked beaches barefoot, climbed trees, drove a steaming clattering Subaru, had a cat, worked two jobs, kept mad spinning summer daylight hours, spent many nights in tears, took thousands of photos, learned to drive in snow, had my heart punched, learned how to go out alone, didn't write much, laughed a lot, learned new things, threw out deep rooted beliefs, opened my mind, leaned into connection, and dabbled (only slightly!) in the dirty work of inner growth: small victories, hard gravel eating falls, getting up to slay demons disheveled and smiling, lips smudged with dust and spit, ocean salt and red wine.

 All this stuff isn't tough per say but it was what I needed this year, what forced me to grow and gave me the profoundest sense of constant reverence, perpetual pangs of gratitude. Now I can march boldly into a new chapter, slosh grinning through England in Xtra Tuffs, and have the strength grace and confidence not to waste a single moment of this one, rare, BEAUTIFUL life.

View driving down Diamond Ridge

I have been blessed. Beyond measure. And in celebration and respect of this blessing I will go. I will travel. I won't be afraid. For all those who wish they could, for all those that can't, for all those that will, for all those who have - I'm going on the road.

Au revoir cheries.