Monday, July 9, 2012

The Difference a Day Can Make

Yesterday Drew and I were in Juneau, Alaska. This morning we're back in New York City.  Two days from now, I'll fly to our home in Arkansas.  Three places so different that my brain just can't keep up  with images bombarding the senses. . . glaciers, skyscrapers, cows. 
If you followed my Arkansas/Russian Reflections blog, you'll know that I often wrote about transitions. As we left Moscow last summer headed for our new life in New York City, I wrote . . . 
"Sometimes I think it’s the speed with which the change occurs that makes me feel like E.T., who was suddenly uprooted when his space ship lifted off without him, leaving him lost, confused and living off Reese’s Pieces, looking for anything that reminded him of Home.  Maybe in the day of long ocean crossings, when there were endless hours of gazing at the horizon, lounging on deck chairs, letting go of one life and preparing for another, transitions were more manageable, more humane." 
I wasn't ready to leave Juneau as we boarded the Alaska Airlines plane.  We had spent a week there as vacationers, re-connecting to a community which had been our home 15 years before.  In many ways, it was as if we had never left.  Many friends remain -- friends with whom we worked, raised children, hiked trails, and endured endless days of Southeast Alaska rain.  Friends with whom we could pick up conversations, like we had started them yesterday. 
Juneau's natural beauty enveloped me.

Berner's Bay                                                                                                                                                                                  
                                                                           Wild Sitka Roses

                                                    Humpback diving

The community of people and nature came alive to me in a way I had not experienced when I lived among them.  Had I been too busy with job, family, too daunted by the rain, too closed in by the clouds?

On our last day in Juneau, my friend, Margie, gave me a beautiful original watercolor.  On the back she had copied a poem. . .


Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue,
when I forget or refuse to go
down to the shore or a few yards
up the road, on a clear day, 
to confirm
that witnessing presence. 

                                                             Wetlands Trail

May I remember to be present, whether in transition, or today in our New York City apartment, watching the interplay of blue sky and clouds outside the window.

It's time to take a walk. . . to go "a few yards up the road."        


  1. Good luck with all your summer transitions. I'm so glad you had a great time in Juneau.....the photos are spectacular, especially the last scene....and whales? Truly awesome that you had a chance to reconnect with nature and dear friends.

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  3. I'm glad you've experienced Juneau in person so we can share its beauty.


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