Sunday, October 9, 2011

1,000 Gratitudes

After 6 months of traveling, mostly by bicycle, we finally reached the Pacific Ocean from Washington DC. I can hardly express how much commotion our lives have consisted of, and still, how often we lost track of our moving bodies and simply glided. Like b

Arriving in Place

Yesterday, we caught a ride to the Oregon Coast from Portland. We meandered through pine-forested mountains and lush family-style farms that had trees hugging houses. The sweet smell of cow dung whisped through our open windows, and memories of my grandma flickered in my mind. She used to say that the smell reminded her of home; that it's kind of silly, but she just loves it. I feel the same way. We breathed in the sounds of Iron and Wine as we rounded the final bend before the ocean shot into sight. The Pacific Ocean. We arrived. We made it to the other side of the country.

the paths we travel
A small path caught Kate's eye, and she asked if we could stop, wander down to the ocean. Beside huckleberry bushes as we stepped slowly on slippery grounds, my chest rose and fell, full of something I couldn't quite grasp. Until it hit me--hard--like 1,000 tears flooding in all at once.

We made it across this land, to this very ocean, with help. Tremendous help. Help from strangers full of so much love and desire to give. Help from sunshine reaffirming beauty, reminding us to hope. Help from songs in my ears and songs leaving my lips. Help from friends on the phone who said things like, "It makes perfect sense." or "Now's not the time for quitting." or "I'd want to kill something, too!" Help from my parents, who gave me the greatest gift of all: their confidence in me, in us; who said things like, "You're my hero."

It all helped. Every e-mail, every friendly honk, every asshole who jabbed into my fragile wounds, only to make me stop and breathe and pray and grow stronger. Every bed, every celebratory glass of wine, every sign made my siblings still growing strong--every tiny bit was huge.

Arriving in Time

At the pacific :) 1 year
Today is our very first wedding anniversary. This time last year, we were surrounded by the most collective expression of community I've ever wittnessed. Hands and hearts were offered in full for celebrating love. No one held back with their generosity, with their gifts. And I don't mean presents. I mean, everyone gave what they were put on this earth to give, in one way or another.

Today, it is just us out here; and then again, it is everyone. So much of this year has felt like a call to see how much we could do "on our own". The greatest lesson in this kind of challenge is discovering that you are never "on your own". Ever.

And through all the ups and downs (in bed, and otherwise) there's still no one I'd rather experience them with than you, Brian. There's no one with whom I'd rather discover the world, in all its magic and all its gory loss. There's no one I'd rather snuggle up against or whose smile I'd rather awake to. There's still no hand I'd rather hold, no voice I'd rather call out to. There's still no one with whom I'd rather share a life.

It's our first wedding anniversary!! And we crossed the US on bikes!!! So much for a first year of marriage. #madward

We're celebrating today. Celebrating how it feels to discover that when you keep going through, the tunnel of darkness really does lead to light.

Thanks to all the living things out there that have been with us every step of the way; that have given so so much. We feel you. Big time. We couldn't have done it without you.

love & gratitude,

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