Friday, May 24, 2013

Life changing moments

I've had a lot of life changing moments.

Getting off of the plane for the first time on the other side of the world; stepping onto the naked, foreign tarmac, the humidity enveloping me.
The first return to Yosemite since the accident. Dogwoods had bloomed and I couldn't, for the life of me, be angry when I was standing in the meadows, gazing at the giant walls.
The first time I had a conversation in a language other than my own.
The uplifting feeling of my career just beginning.
My first solo road trip, 20,000 miles logged on the road with the freedom to go wherever I chose.

And then there was the birth of August.

There are no feelings to describe having been present when someone enters the world. There are no words I can write that could explain the first inhales of those little butterfly lungs. Or the first time Heidi held him. And every word I can think of sounds too harsh to tell you about the first time he laid on my chest, head tucked under my chin and the certainty of knowing I had never held something so delicate and fragile.

We come so innocently into the world. Born to parents and places and environments. We grow and learn and hope. And to see that all begin for someone will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

I can't wait to get to know August again and again. I can't wait for him to learn the sagebrush plains and what each peak is called and explore the world and learn his name. I hope he sees things with new eyes, and keeps his heart open and knows that he is so loved and cared for. I hope he never doubts that for a minute.

As I left town, I felt full to the brim with love. The blood orange sun pushed me down the highway and I thanked my lucky stars to feel so alive and happy.

I can't wait for what's to come.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Life seasons, settling, and collected moments

I think of my life in seasons rather than in years. It makes more sense that way.

I think this past life season for me has been a lesson in learning not to settle. Relationships--both friendships and romantic--should be fulfilling, encouraging, honest, and should make you feel capable. They don't need to be measured by the amount of conflict, but rather, by the manner in which that conflict is dealt with.
Gravitate towards work that develops and brings out your greatest strengths.
You can always be more kind.
And most of all, if you're settling for things that are half-hearted, you're exemplifying that to others.
Really, life is way too short to feel obligated to stay in something that isn't making you better. I don't think problems are black and white, but I do think that happiness should be placed as a higher importance than a lot of people make it.

All of these things are growing into my bones and though I've got a long way to go, I've felt like there can be major progress in the most trying of times. I feel like I've climbed out of that trying-ness, and oh, I can't even tell you how in love with life I've been lately, because I'm not even sure there are enough words to tell you how beautiful it's been. There have been moments in the past month that I will come back to when I'm feeling the absence of home and am drained from overcrowded cities and too little wildness.

Lately I've had slow cooked meals, long conversations with lots of laughter, and sunny cups of coffee in the morning; the previous night's wine bottles still left on the patio table.
I've walked barefoot on bright moss and curled up in trees shaped like hammocks to be closer to the water and to listen to the movement.

I've driven through clouds of mountain bluebirds, stirred up from the meadows and found pieces of home in people's conversations and actions.
I've walked through forests of trees-blackened and burnt by flame, but still standing and creaking with the wind.

I've watched waterfalls and read hundreds of book pages, and have sat on hills in the middle of rainstorms, watching the cumulus clouds form, growing dark and heavy.

I've sat on wooden porches and have seen the heavy mist hang low over the foothills, watching moose eating the willow branches twenty feet away from my chair.
I've run on trails through fields of wildflowers in alpine meadows, looking over great mountain ranges while mud jumps up behind my heels.

I'm just not sure that I can conceivably explain the excitement I feel...that everything seems to be just beginning; the start of something I can't wrap my head around because it's too large and intertwined to separate out. It's a large intersection of collected moments that are carrying me into another life season with more lessons learned and a couple more lines around my eyes.

I'm off to follow the yellow highway veins to giant glass cities and then onto places where the redwoods grow. There are some amazing things in the works.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Running as poetry.

My brain was full of crowded thoughts, so I went running. I'm not much of a runner, but there's something to be said about the feeling of movement and the simplicity of only needing shoes.

I think there's some kind of disconnect that has to happen when you uproot and start in a new place. I feel like I'm straddling a line; one part of me craves a home and the other craves travel and I'm not sure which to feed. All sorts of things were swirling in my head and the sort of sadness that comes when you start leaving a place that you love. It's amazing that a year ago I started to make this place my home, and it's just started to feel that way more than any of the previous months.

It was the late afternoon when I started running. The sun was dodging in and out behind the lodgepole pines as I ran past, and it felt like I was flipping pages on a chapter book. The river below was moving so swiftly and all I could hear was my shoes hitting the dirt below and Veda's trot to my side and--oh, life moves so quickly.

Time is such a valuable currency.

As I ran further into the mountains, the sun started to dip below the ridgeline and the pines turned blue and dark green with early evening. When the last of the sunlight was beaming onto the trail and the pine needles seemed to glow, I stopped and laid in the tree groves because sometimes you just need to pour love into something and I wanted to lean my back against the 50 feet of bark that has seen more life than I have. And I sat and listened to the river move, and felt my lungs so clearly and the muscles in my legs appreciated the movement.

Ah, it felt like poetry.