Obligatory New Year Wrap-Up

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Everything changes and nothing does. We live, we die, we make life, we make food. We make memories, then forget them. We take risks, and dash them. Sometimes we have the guts to dream and sometimes we have the guts to face reality. We get lost, we are found.

There’s been a bit of radio silence on my end because I’ve been finishing the first draft of my book, Follow That Arrow, and there have been several new developments in my personal, work, and entire life in general. Now that the first draft is done, I’ll be back to blogging more regularly. I miss you.

Let’s start back in January. Yellow Arrow Coffee opened and I was lucky, very lucky, to spend most of the year in Breckenridge. Fumbling my way through running a business, experiencing real winter and meeting the most incredible and interesting people. And I’m not just saying that to be nice. In the short time I spent in Breckenridge, I befriended an author, a potter, a couple who have walked all over the world, a journalist, an Episcopal reverend, a scientist and many others who helped me by supporting the coffee shop, coming to chat with me on slow days, or even bringing me snow boots.

As the year unfolded, it became more and more clear that Breckenridge would not be my permanent home. I soaked up long days of hiking, the stunning scenery, river rafting and as much time I could squeeze in with my best friend/spirit animal who lives in Denver.

It’s hard to describe the gratitude I feel around having had the opportunity to create Yellow Arrow. It’s also hard to describe the confusion I went through upon deciding to leave, it was like being carried past that time in my life on a conveyor, on to the next stop. But I’ve learned enough to know when to go with the gut and trust my own instincts.

For those that don’t know, the next stop was Baltimore. I road tripped out here in September with as much as would fit in the car before heading to Spain for a month, which had it’s own good timing. I live here now with my partner and the dog, in a row house, and a baby growing steadily in my belly. You read that right. Through the confusion and madness over leaving Colorado, it all became clear upon discovering the new pilgrimage I had found myself traveling, that ancient call of motherhood. It was good to be in Spain if only to remember that while the camino for me is over, the journey never is. It’s these events, my friends, that have a way of stirring up everything only for it to eventually settle back down to the bottom.

I love life’s surprises. 2015 was jam packed with them. From sharpening my business lady teeth, to living among more snow than I’d ever seen, life has taken me places this year I never could have predicted. To Spain, on a road trip half way across the country (again), to the NorthWest for Christmas with my family, into the arms of someone I knew briefly at the age of 19, to the basement of a library, to the peaks of the Rockies, to the gritty streets of Baltimore.

So here I sit, writing and expecting, hoping for a healthy babe to kiss and love and for strength to keep following those arrows. Faith is being able to smell the ocean before you can see it. I hope the salt continues to sting my eyes.

Following an Ancient Call by Christine Valters Paintner

What if we could listen
like the great salmon
who goes about its ordinary life
when suddenly something shifts.

It does not come as a thunderous
revelation, but a quiet knowing
you have been preparing all
your life to trust.

The path lived until now no longer
satisfies but the path ahead
seems thousands of miles
long, and your womb is heavy.

There is no refusing this ancient call,
and to know ourselves as not alone,
but part of generations before us who,
like the salmon, share in this inheritance.

You now hear only the rush of energy
that comes with starting the long
return home and the pull in the
blood which cannot be ignored.

I like to imagine the salmon
swimming across the ocean
(as if that weren’t daunting enough)
and after that endless voyage

it must face the mouth of the mighty river.
Does she hesitate, even for a moment?
Does he want to turn back to less turbulent waters?
But there is something ripening in their bellies.

Perhaps your list of pressing tasks is still long.
Leave it there fluttering in the breeze,
uncrossed, undone, unfinished,
to do the only thing you can do

which is to swim,
to be carried by the waves and tide
and to know when to let the current carry you
and when to fight it with all your strength,

and to know even this yes will
demand more than you were willing
to give: your life for the new birth,
what you think you know for

the ancient call home.

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