Posts in Personal Essay
An August Goodbye

Late August Indian summer teased, the ocean was especially warm, crystal clear and the tide particularly low. I don’t think it was a moon tide, but the water was out far, exposing the flats of the sands rarely shown, the ripples and the ridges alive in the light like a creature. Life by the ocean is defined by moon and her tides. All things are interconnected living on the edge, and we accept that we too are a part of this ebb and flow, as humans have been since the beginning of time.

I was in Minot for a few final summer days before I headed to Africa for three weeks. August’s is so bittersweet, with its perfect golden light, the shadows long, they are like a sundial of time passing. We bask in the sweet air as it kisses sunwarmed skin. But like all the best things in life, grasping at it can destroy it. All we can do is revel in the gift and hold onto the memory in gratitude when the season passes.

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Nepal, a few moments in a country of millenia

I am just back from Nepal, and starting to process an amazing month, and thousands of photographs, taken across the beautiful and ancient country. I am not sure what I expected as this was a particularly seat of the pants trip, in spite of months of planning (more on that soon) and so every plan had to be reworked, leading to better outcomes than anything we could have imagined.

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The freedom of the "Most Disgusting Version of Yourself"

When I arrived in Livingstone, Zambia to join African Spokes, Jen Gurecki gleefully warned that I should be prepared to be “the most disgusting version of myself.” An organizer and veteran of the 70 day trip, riding from Nairobi to Cape Town, she was on to something.

Each morning of Leg 4 started like every other day in camp; shuffling into cycling cloths in the dark, we broke down heavy canvas tent by headlamp, packing up camp while stuffing in calories and water to be ready for first light. When the sun started over the horizon we were off, covering 90km on a short day and up to 214km one special day, aiming to cover as much ground in the early post dawn desert cool as possible to avoid the intense heat to come. And the relentless lack of shade. Leg 4 which crossed a bit of Zambia, all of Botswana and northeastern Namibia had particularly nice tarmac, for Africa.

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Walking together always

I have spent the last weeks in shock, dumbfounded by intensity of the sadness and pain of loss I feel with Mia’s passing.  I thought I had prepared for this, having spent so many years with her in ER’s and hospitals, she had been to more types of specialists and doctors in her short 6 years and 5 months with me than I have seen in 37 years.  I used to expect her to pass on the regular, placing my hand on her curly blond torso for the rise and fall. This so familiar, from nights with pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, surgeries and unnamed scares, that when the breath went out of her the final time in the hospital I found myself utterly unable to fathom that her tiny body was truly still. 

We had dodge death so many times, how did it finally catch us? And how had I been so unprepared to let her go when we lived so vibrantly with gratitude every day.

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