for those of you who will not be viewing this site in person, you will not know the true contrast of my sandal-laden feet. to me, this chaco tan, the many mosquito bites that dot my shins, and my favorite pair of long shorts equal the necessary ingredients for a great summer. (as do huckleberry ice cream, bike rides, & campfires, of which we have also had our fair share.)
another requirement of summer (& life of course!) is great friends, which we have quickly acquired a heaping handful of. this photo is of megan and i after we forded the river behind us. see the utter glee we managed to summon despite our frozen feet and soggy socks? true, enduring friendship seems to be made up of such feelings. megan is on my crew and is someone i can be silly with one moment and profoundly deep with the next. she is simply wonderful.
now this photo is a little dated, but necessary for telling the story of our summer. this fuzzy, brown creature is our old friend grizz! megan (see above) is who i was hiking with when we came across the little guy--perhaps that is when we solidified a great friendship as we "conquered" our first bear encounter together. this photo is from the trail and was taken without engaging the zoom. that's right, we were altogether too close, but fortunately our encounter was with a fully-satiated bear.
and this is me fully ready with bear spray in hand as we by-passed the bear.as i look back over this blog, i notice the photos of brandon have been few and far between lately. i'll try to work on that. he either seems to be working or behind the camera. don't be fooled however, he is having the time of his life! of the 30+ days we have been here, he has kayaked all but 8. yeah, rough life for him, isn't it?
we have also been doing a lot of reading, and for some reason the books i keep picking up are about afghanistan. i am totally caught up in learning about this country right now, although i am unsure of why that is exactly. the most recent book i am reading, west of kabul, east of new york, is simple and intriguing. here is a quote i took a liking to:
all of human history can be seen, can it not, as an argument between those who
try to explode the existing forms and those who try to freeze things as they
are. the second impulse always wins in the end, except it's never the
end. the cosmic winner is always change, except change can never settle in
as the permanent state. history is a river, except people can only live in
lakes, so they dam the current and build villages by still waters--but the dam
always breaks. and always, some folks ride the flood, screaming slogans
and exulting. ultimately those folks disappear in the foam and tumult, and
when the waves die down, you always find the bureaucrats in charge again,
saying, "okay, we've slipped downstream, but this is where we should build our
permanent home. "
permanent home, the impossible dream.
so now that i reread this quote before posting, i realize why this resonated with me--it is our mission to live in the current, the deep desire brandon and i have for the life we create. this passage expresses why this is mission of ours is so challenging and why it doesn't always seem possible. this year we are certainly letting go of the need for the permanent home. it doesn't exist for us here.