Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Returnings and Beginnings

It is one my last few days living in Texas. My afternoon walk takes me down a winding and spacious residential road on the edge of Kerrville. It is January, technically mid-winter, yet I am warm in the sunshine and the cool breeze. I know I will miss this place, however anxious I am to once again live in the Northwest. I will miss the warm side of winter, the Mexican food, Lucas’ family, and these quiet walks in the Texan hill-country where deer are my only companions. My mind wanders as I walk for 45 minutes, down the hill and back up again. I think about how much transformation I have gone through during my year in Texas, how much transformation my relationship with Lucas has undergone. I revisit all that has happened during the last 4-5 months, since my last blog post.

So much has happened!!

Life has been full of adventure, travel, new beginnings, and leaps of faith. And unlike most of my life, the past 5 months are largely undocumented, both on my blog and in my personal journal. For the first extensive time, writing has been put on the back burner while life has been lived. All the while, the gnawing in the back of my mind to “write write write,” has never left me. But the questions arose, “Why write? And....if I share what I write, am I being too self-indulgent?”

Often when I go on my walks in solitude, my mind arrives at a still place. All the jumbles of thoughts I may have been mulling over slowly quiet down. I can breathe a little deeper. I can just be. And often, I discover a sudden clarity where before there was none. Today on my walk, as if by instinct rather than reason, I come to accept that I write because I have a need to write, whether it is read or not. I have the need to express myself, to document my experience for my own sake. I do not feel completion in my experiences without that written record. Lately, I have been denying myself of that need.

In retrospect I feel that my questions to you about continuing this blog were a little silly. I suppose I just wanted to know that if I write on my blog, it will be read. And yet to hear that a few of you like to read my blog to keep up with my doings...ahh, I admit, I feel my Leonine-self purr from your validations. (I may not be an overt Leo, but I am a Leo after all.) Thank you for that ;)

Also, I know that my reasons for having a blog are not merely self-indulgent. The main reasons come from having a belief that we all, each of us through our own unique experiences, have a story to tell. Each of our stories is important and significant and worthy of being shared. Just as much as I want to share with you my story, I want to know yours. I want to hear your insights and revelations about life, I want to learn about what inspires you to continue in your existence, I want to understand the makings of who you are and how you experience life unfolding. And so I write because I need to, because I like to, because I want to share my story with you, and because I hope you will, in your own way, share your story with me. Thank you for reading.

Usually when I pick up my journal after a few weeks of dust has gathered, I start writing from where I am presently. I do minimal back-tracking. And so I am tempted to do the same here, with just a few paragraphs to cover the last several months:

In September, Lucas’ gramma passed away. It was sad, of course, but also happy knowing she was ready for that and happy with the life she had lived. Since Lucas and I were largely in Texas to be with her in her waning days, we were now faced with the opportunity to do more travel and re-locate. Starting at the beginning of October, we spent time in Southern Oregon and Northern California. During that trip we decided to move to Mt. Shasta, in Northern Cali, after falling in love with the magical mountain. (View pictures from that trip HERE.)

After delighting in the nature, hot-springs, dear friends, and local breweries of the northwest, Lucas and I finally made it back to Texas in mid-November. We took a quick trip to Missouri for Thanksgiving with Lucas’ mom’s family and soon afterwards headed back to Mexico. We were there for about 2 weeks, partially to celebrate Lucas’ brother Kelly’s graduation from medical school in Guadalajara with extended family, and partially to explore a beach town, Yelapa. We loved it there, and hope to someday rent some land in this remote and beautiful village. (View pictures from this trip HERE.)

The day before heading to Pennsylvania for Christmas, Lucas asked me to marry him!! We are so excited to be engaged and to be taking this big step forward with each other. Partners in love! This was a wonderful trip home during holiday time, sharing the engagement buzz with family and friends, seeing how wonderfully my niece Teagan is growing into herself, how my siblings are all thriving in their professions, how my parents are loving retirement, and being able to catch up with several old friends and other family members. Click HERE to view info on my brother Mike's brewery. And HERE for info on the restaurant where my brother Ryan is executive chef. And HERE to see my sister Chris' papercuttings, her budding business.

Back in Texas, Lucas and I have spent the past few weeks preparing for our move to Northern Cali and soaking in the warmth of the weather here. Lucas had his gall-bladder removed last week and is healing nicely. And now we have the car loaded up and most of our loose ends already tied. Tonight, we are drinking a beer at his old place of employment, Grapejuice, and going out to eat with his family. Bright and early tomorrow morning, we head west towards a big new chapter in our lives and in our relationship. Our first purchased home waits for us in the foothills of Mt. Shasta, silently sitting until we fill it with new life, new warmth, and new beginnings.

I am sooo READY!! yippee!!

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