Monday, September 21, 2009

truer words...

even for me, this last weekend was a bit overscheduled - but i wouldn't have changed a thing!

first, i enjoyed a rousing good time dancing at KLX:
KLX 2009

stayed out far too late and then rose early for to blitz another Habitat house. afterwards, i was lucky enough to head once more for the hills.

although we made crazy good time on the build due to the mad skills of the UT Women's Rowing Team, the gang was long gone on the trail by the time i could make it to the Smokeys. i hiked in from Elkmont along the Little River trail in the rain and dark to meet the boys at campsite 24. enjoyed a tender welcome as only the Highlanders can offer when i pulled into camp at 9pm...

the woods were serene in the rainy mist, the trail wide and even, and the river sang a lovely serenade. l i hiked in the near pitch for quite some time before being forced by prudence to turn on my headlamp. i found myself reflecting on my life and the many ways i have been blessed.
  • my job is my calling and daily encourages me to stretch and grow to make the world a better place.
  • i have known cavernously deep, Shakespearean love with all its attendant tragedy and desolation. though Chopper has been dead just over 20 years now, i can still see and hear him as if it were yesterday and remain grateful for our time and the lessons it continues to provide.
  • just shy of 5 years ago now, i was also privileged to experience the pure and passionate wonder of true and abiding love. though our paths were meant to diverge, i regret not a second and continue to take much from that ponderous gift.
  • gentler, stronger and more loyal friends than mine cannot possibly exist. their honesty and generosity in spirit and deed humble me daily and their support during my times in shadow cannot possibly be repaid or matched.
  • truly, deeply blessed am i that the closest and greatest of my friends remains my mother. a braver, truer and more loving soul never was. she lifts me up when i stumble, floods my world with laughter when it is gray, and daily inspires me to reach beyond what i am to what i can be.
  • most specially yet also most privately, my faith and trust in God continue to deepen each day i am blessed to continue living and exploring. i see his endless compassion in the actions of my Habitat family and my friends; his capacious joy echoing in every new dance and skip; his piquant humor in my daily misadventures; and his great tenderness and love in the endless miracles of the trail.
these truths settled their fullness all around me in the empty stillness of the night. i found myself breathless with gratitude for the life i have lived thus far, with all its challenges and sorrows and darkness. it is the darkness, after all, that has helped me to see so clearly the joyous and shimmering colors of life!

in a recent letter, a friend wrote this:
I am so proud of you! You look so free and happy in your travels. Wow! Good for you. I don't remember ever seeing you so happy! Keep backpacking.

... and so it is and so i remain ever vigilant for the next gift on this winding road...

step 1

step 2

step 3

may life bring you such bountiful blessings and joys as well!

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