Friday, July 3, 2020

Independence Day 2020

It's that time of year that I would usually break out in dance and celebrate another journey completed around the sun. Yet, this is not a typical year. 

On this birthday, I find myself more reflective. When you can't see forward clearly, it's easier to look backward. Where have I been? What have I accomplished? Has it been enough? 

As I remember so many encounters in my past, I'm craving the excitement of a new adventure just around the corner where I step out of my comfort zone and discover something unpredictable. When will I feel that adrenaline rush again?

I don't have the answer as I sit home patiently, staying safe, and wearing my mask when I venture out. For it is more important to be socially responsible and respectful of others as we all ride this wave into unknown territory. 

As the future is muddled with all kinds of predictions, 
the music in my head has changed. 

Though the rhythm may be different, I will still choose to dance!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

a love story in black and white

June 23, 1973

They said we couldn't be we.
It just can't be.
Why? We asked.
It's right there in black and white:
shouldn't, couldn't, CAN'T.

Others whispered, sneered and sometimes shouted
Backs are turned, doors of opportunity shut
Locked Out
we hid, faded, blended
Not to be recognized - nor to be noticed.

They said it wouldn't last.
shouldn't, couldn't, CAN'T
Each day our together assimilating into one.

Years went on, but the current didn't change
the waters ran deeper.
Words sometimes subtle, sometimes not
- unconscious bias - conscious labels -
jokes are refined, comments fine-tuned
Feeling confined...Few can be trusted
Another layer of armor built.

As I see people marching in the street
I hear the murmur of change
I know that sound, I've heard it before
The murmur needs to be an anthem roared
- breaking all sound barriers -
so everyone will take a knee
only then can I take a breath and shed this heavy coat of metal.

Finding My Voice As I Go, Because Silence Is Not An Option

(Thank you to the family and friends that have always accepted us for "being we." I hope you know who you are. Especially to Wanda and Brantley Hawkins, Kay Kennedy and Kitty Lawton Nielsen that were there for us in the early days and never questioned our love.)

Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Green Scene

Green is one of my favorite colors. It's the color of spring and new beginnings. The color of nature in all its glory! After the rains, when the Sonoran Desert turns green and purple and yellow, it draws me to be outside -  I find that it even restores depleted energy when I go for my walks. 

So many images come to mind when you think green: Green grass, the grass is greener, greener pastures, emerald green. green tea, evergreen, Mr. Green Jeans, green with envy, putting green, Green Bay Packers, green eyed monster, green beans, green card, green thumb, green room, green around the gills, greenhorn, green light, greenway, sea green, go green... 

...Not to mention the 40 shades of green in Ireland.

Have you been? Well it certainly is not an exaggeration. Gene and I spent a few weeks walking the beautiful Irish countryside in search of what's new. It was a reminder that being surrounded by all of that green gives you a sense of balance and harmony. 

And isn't that what a vacation should do? 

Come Walk With Me!

The Walking Connection offers a variety of hiking trips in Ireland, both self drive and guided so you too can experience "the Green Scene." From island hopping Cork & Kerry in the south to exploring the Causeway Coastal Route and Donegal in the north. Your vacation, your way. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Twelve Days A Pilgrim

In the fall of 2019 I trekked 12 days on the Camino de Santiago from Portugal to Spain, covering 140 miles (226 km)...


My biggest concern had been how I would feel walking longer distances for multiple days in a row. I knew if needed I could catch a ride, but I really wanted to explore every inch along the way.

By day three I got into my own rhythm. Realizing that I had all day to get to the next destination, my time slowed to pedestrian speed instead of the frenetic pace of everyday life. Each moment then could be savored...

Lakeside Lookouts

Forest Bathing

Seaside Saunters

For 12 days we were pilgrims, peregrinos to the locals as they would call out "Buen Camino!" - wishing us well on our path ahead.

Passing through a village or on a country road, blue and yellow Camino markers pointed the way like a beacon in the fog. Knowing we weren't the first nor the last, they nudged us forward drawn by something bigger than ourselves. 

Whether walking this trail for a spiritual quest, a personal challenge or just to slow down and take in the experience the intention was the same -- reaching Santiago de Compostela. 

As you draw closer trekkers are arriving from all directions each with their own aura of accomplishment. And when it was me standing in the square encircled by all of the energy of kindred spirits, I knew that it was my life's journey that gave me this gift...

Wishing you all 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Year After Year After Year

Each year on our way to Grand Canyon's North Rim, I ponder whether this will be the last year that we host this annual gathering. After all we have been making this drive for over 10 years.

The further north we drive from Phoenix, the valley heat is left behind. We pass through ever changing environmental zones from the cactus filled desert to forested mountains to vermillion cliffs with blue open sky. I remember how much I love this drive.

We pass through the gates of our national park and the wildflower lined road leads the way. We search for the herd of bison that graze in the green grass. Unusual to see them in the afternoon sun, but we survey the landscape anyway.

Surrounded by tall fragrant pines, I step to the canyon's rim and the majesty of the moment overcomes me once again. No matter where I travel in our big beautiful world the greatness of this wonder is both humbling and empowering.

 I know then --  I will always come back....
Year After Year After Year

Friday, March 1, 2019

Searching For The Authentic

Though I have traveled some, I know many people that have filled more passports than I. For myself what I have learned, is that it is not about the number of places I go or what I can check off of a list. It's much deeper than that...

It is more about the real life encounters along the way -- the people I meet that open my eyes to their world. Other times it may be the natural world that speaks to me, like in the silent moment when day becomes night...

In designing a new adventure to Morocco, that is what I set out to capture. Authentic experiences that will give you the occasion to spark the magic of what travel can be. Genuine existence that is not reduced to a screen size shot but taking the opportunity to walk in our life size world.

Those are the memories that will last forever... 

Monday, January 15, 2018

One Small Thing

Traveling a very VERY long dry dusty, bumpy road across the desert landscape of Namibia, we came across this man and his son...

Wherever we go whether here at home or some far off place around the world, Gene and I look for opportunities that make a positive impact even if it is as simple as sharing a bottle of water...

 "If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way." 
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our guide Lukas bridges the culture gap with him being able to speak at least 5 languages -- he was so good I think he could even speak gently to the mules.

Though I don't know how to speak 5 languages, 
I do know there is a language in kindness...
just sayin'.

Finding My Voice As I Go...