I’m Alive




….but the past doesn’t work like that.

Our previous selves, the ghosts of who we’ve been, remain inside and form vital portions of who we are now. I’ve withstood a challenging year because of my past. As much as I’d love to close one door, barricade it with rocks and set monsters as guards, I know I have to let it all come with me.

I’m busy conquering a new fire swamp. It began with the car break in and robbery, but that has become a footnote. I’m working and exploring and getting a feel for this new home.

I’m finding my rhythm.

My expectations and well laid plans fall away as I stride forward into the unknown.

It may be hard for me on many levels, but damn I do feel alive.


(Poem by the exquisite Mary Oliver)




  1. Such a great pairing of MO’s words and your own.
    That journey from the past is a bit like a ride on public transit. You let all of it come with you through the tunnel, then one by one, stop by stop, most of the pieces disembark at the place where they need to be deposited. A few of the pieces end up with you at your destination and you learn to coexist with them, perhaps even appreciate them.

    The year should inform but not outshine the year ahead. Keep going ‘forward into the unknown’ with the wisdom and grace and strength you have.

    Also: “My expectations and well laid plans fall away as I stride forward into the unknown.” That’s a great passage! (See also: “And his original destination’s just another story that he loves to tell…”)

    “A path is made by walking it…:
    Keep moving forward.

    • I love your perspective and grow as I learn from it! Grove, you shine a light from where you stand a little higher up th dark mountain. I know you too have times of trial and maybe you dont know (maybe you do) that even in those dark places you’re a beacon.

      Walking the path…

      • Oh, Rachel… Thank you so much. You are so very kind. I can’t explain how much it means to know that some of my words resonate with you.
        We are all walking similar paths, most without proper signage or landmarks, towards a common end. All we can do is try to understand each others journeys.
        I do hope our paths will cross one day. Either way, it’s good to have your company along the way.
        I hope your week is a good one and that you don’t have to endure too many TBM ‘pretzels’! 😃
        Onward, friend.

  2. Rach, you’re like the ‘Engergizer Bunny’ you just keep going. I am so sorry that your car was broken into, nice welcome home, hey? You remind me of a baby Oak, you’re so fragile, yet so very strong. My gosh Rachael, you are an amazing writer and you have the material, you really should write a book. I’m happy to know that you’re back in the U.S. and I hope that you love your job.
    I love you guys,

  3. Things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

    Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

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