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Into the Great Wide Open

Our most recent adventure was a big one. Andy and I packed mules into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Andy’s boss and our friend, Chris Eyer, has nine mules and three horses and dude is passionate about his craft: swaddling gear and packing with giant, beloved, hooved animals deep into the wild.

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moonshadow

Andy and I woke at the same moment. 4:17am, the glowing moon washing our room with ghost-blue light. We don’t have curtains and every full moon, it seems our space is washed by celestial illumination. How is it possible that a rock that is 230,100 miles away can light my bedroom from the inside out? It’s magic and I can feel it. I am always sleepless and stirred in a way that is bigger than me, tossing around in lunar dust.

Andy got up, wide awake. I entered into a hazy, in-and-out sleep for a few hours where I thought about the things. How I want to make all my own clothes, I missed soccer sign ups, I need to get my plane ticket to San Francisco, I look forward to next fall’s road trip with my kids, I am frustrated that I had to fire my web designer and start over, I am so pleased that my garden is off to a great start, I ought to read more books.

Lately, when I wake in the middle of the night I have a song in my head. Every single night around 2am I wake up with lyrics on repeat. I started writing them down last week: Beyoncé’s Halo, Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, Pearl Jam’s Daughter, Ben Harper’s With My Own Two Hands. On the full moon night: Cat Steven’s Moonshadow.

And if I were to do a mashup and make my own soundtrack perhaps it’d go something like this:

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Let's Go Swimming

Andy’s alarm goes off for a full minute. It takes him a while to reach his phone to turn off the chirping because he threw his back out. He moves slowly, forcing inhales through the pain. I offer to help and he declines. The rain taps the metal roof just above our dry heads as we lay under down and linen in the dark. The furnace kicks on.

He gets up first, he always does. I hear the click of our espresso machine button. I feel around the floor for the hoodie I took off last night. I walk gently down the hall, avoiding the three floorboards that creak. Andy tunes the radio to NPR. Another terrorist attack. In Brussels, he says.

The familiar words reach our ears. I hate that they are familiar. Isis. Extremist. Suicide bomber. 26 dead. 30 dead. Retaliation. War. Terror. Terrorist. Terrorism.

The rain lets up. I feel the wetness in my bones.

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38 things

I missed last year! And the year before! Both drafts are immortalized as drafts. Things happen that way and I’ve found – as I age – it is often best to give in than to muscle through.

Click to read: 30 things, 31 things, 32 things, 33 things, 34 things, 35 things

My birthday weekend began with a snowshoe into my friend’s cabin with girlfriends. We pulled our gear up a super steep hill, making that mountaintop beer so so delicious.

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SPARKLE

Me: What makes me happy?*
Ruby: Snuggling with me! And I like snuggling with you!

I have this dear old friend whom I hardly ever see. Even though she lives in town. Even though every time I see her it feels like we are again 22 and the cosmos made extra special room for our relationship.

It’s because our lives veered – just a bit – away from one another. Me: more settled. Her: more wandering. The thing that makes it work so well is that we both deeply love and appreciate each other. We both have a bit of each other in us. She is equally settled and I am equally wandering. Sometimes it feels like a glacier is plowing down the valley between her things and my things, widening the gap. But then we gather and we realize that gutted out ravine symmetrically curves up and into two great expanses. Wide open prairies of adventurous spirit, needful wonder, wistful want.

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