Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Peace, now.


Journal Entry: Whakapapa, New Zealand while sitting in the Chateau, the day after we finished our final climb. (A perfect reflection of how I feel about my time in New Zealand, and life in general following the experience...) 

April 8, 2013 -

Don’t close your eyes.

Not for an instant.

If you do, Dayna won’t be to your right. Karl won’t be to your left. Catie Pai, Phred, Chris, Aneika, Karen, Eddie, Dan, Jane, and George will all be distant, fond memories.

The fire that burns in front of you will die.

The music he plays – unknowingly inspiring – will fade…

Stay here. Right here.

Be here.

Listen. Look. Feel.

The volcanoes behind you; the earth that simmers below, the steam that rises from the ground in proof…

This is life.

Eight weeks with five strangers who would be your greatest friends. New Advocates. Family.

They know more about you than anyone else, and they know nothing about you.

I have answers.

I realize now what has happened. Within it all, the cancer, the love lost, the mountains climbed, the trails behind me and the trails before me… a million things flying through my head and around me – amongst it all – and with it all – I feel peace.

Hallelujah… Peace.

Of course, so many things need to change. I need to lose weight. I need a job. I need a home. I need to spend more time with my family. I need to be a better friend. I need to run more. I need to visit my mountain…


Thank you – New Zealand.

The gift of your grace and the lessons learned are immeasurable. So much more than you would have been, and so much more than I could have expected without the past to prepare me and the future to anticipate - you would have been merely another stop on a world tour.

It wouldn’t be. It’s couldn’t be.

Thank you, Dayna for teaching me what it means to be silly and fun and confident and professional at the same time.

Thank you, Karl for being an instant little brother. Thank you for chasing us up and down mountains with your camera; for your patience, ease, and humor. Thank you for loving this journey as much as we did, even though we know it was work for you.

Thank you, Toshi for teaching me what it means to really love people, nature and most importantly – life.

Thank you, Rich for making me think; for challenging me. For running with me and singing with me and making me laugh on the trails. Thank you for being my partner on the most memorable day of this journey.

Thank you Joel for not knowing when to stop. Thank you for talking our ears off and thank you for being unaware of how much you affect us all with your innocence and your light. Thank you most of all for inspiring me with your music, for bringing me to tears each time you play. Thank you for loving me despite my cynicism.

Thank you all for making me laugh till I cried. Thank you for laughing at me, and for making me laugh at myself. Thank you for showing me the beauty of this place through your eyes. Thank you for seeing the beauty of this place through my eyes.

I laugh now when I say the words, “my cup runneth over,” cause it’s literal, and so true. It feels like too much love, too much beauty, laughter, and life… I worry constantly that a full cup equates to death. As though feeling so happy and so full and so peaceful means that I’ve fulfilled my purpose here and that the cancer will return and take me at last. Part of the journey, I guess.

It scares me and gives me more peace at the same time. I know that the feeling in my core – the peaceful fire that burns – is what people strive for. If it kills me, fine. But it won’t. If it goes away, fine. I’ll search again, I’m just so happy to know what I’m searching for.


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