Thursday, July 5, 2018

Part of my daily ritual includes beginning the day with sunrise and ending the day with sunset whenever possible. It's a meditation of sorts, and a way to be present in the day and fill my mind and heart with thankfulness.
Last evening I went to Fort Pulaski just off Tybee Island, Georgia to watch the sunset from the bridge. It's always a nice change of pace from the beach. There were several fishermen on the bridge as I walked back across. Meeting people and hearing their stories has become a favorite part of my 2 year travel adventure. Chance meetings? I think not... they are all like gifts from the universe. I always get "feelings" that I should talk to certain individuals. Amazing and wonderful things manifest in life if you give out what you seek, keep an open heart and mind and greet life with curiosity.
Last evening a really lovely conversation manifested that lasted an hour and a half. It was like one of those evenings that  I would have had in my twenties.... an authentic honest conversation with a total stranger where you could talk about life and dreams and laugh. A real connection. As we get older we sometimes put walls up and maybe are not as open and those random connections with strangers don't happen as much. 
As I was passing "A" I felt compelled to talk with him and said, "Hey whatcha catching in here?". He said he wasn't really fishing for anything, he just came there to relax and have quiet and be in nature. And we began a conversation that was a little small talk and some heartfelt interesting thoughts. He was in his 40s and had traveled quite a bit. His wandering took him to Germany and Switzerland, across Europe and many places in the US. I was curious how he could travel so much since he wasn't retirement age. He replied that he worked at a job long hours, saved up money then would quit and travel for a while! He was planning his next trip to Scotland.
We began talking about life in America and the American dream and how it is all changing for younger people today. He didn't believe owning a home was necessarily the American dream anymore, although he said it was a good way to bring in extra money by renting. But he felt it wasn't worth the expense to keep a place up. He saw many people going to campers and RVs as a new wave of "home ownership" and an increasingly mobile society. We covered education and the importance, or lack of importance, in today's world as things change so quickly. He felt that the American dream didn't apply to everyone and that the opportunities weren't the same for or accessible for all Americans. He also felt that each individual should define his or her own dream that spoke to their heart and pursue that... even if it wasn't the same as that held by the general public. Those were the lessons and advice he wanted to instill in his son. We talked about health care and his view that the system is collapsing in on itself. It was a very intriguing thought provoking conversation... the kind of conversation I would have had late one summer night in college. It was such an energizing yet relaxing exchange. In the distance a beautiful fireworks display began at Hunter Air Force Base and we watched and enjoyed the moment. It was a magical wonderful evening. And with his talk of travel, "A" gave me food for thought.  I'm wondering if my current travel journey should take a jump overseas to Germany or Scotland! So I guess in a way there was some manifesting going on!


Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Voice journal August 30, 2016
6:39 AM

As I played this recording, I was caught off guard. I expected to hear my voice talking but instead I heard the voices of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie at Mount Saint Benedict singing psalms a Capella at morning worship. And memories came flooding back. It was my first visit to the monastery in Erie Pennsylvania. My plan was to use it as a base for exploration. But the next morning - this morning - I decided to go through the day with the sisters and start with morning worship at 6:30 AM. As I sat in the chapel, I was overcome with emotion while listening to them that first morning, and it all flooded back while listening to the beauty of their voices on the recording. That morning, I envisioned the sisters sitting there morning after morning, year after year after year after year starting their day this way - in beautiful song and praise and thanks... and I was overcome with the beauty of it all. The simplicity and soulfulness of it was profound. During this visit, I felt something special take place within myself.... This was the first of many visits, as I found myself called back time and again to make retreat there with the sisters. Each time, my soul became filled and it was so good to connect with different women visiting on retreat. In my later visits, I participated in some of their ministries in the community where they are loved and respected.

Hospitality is a way of life for Benedictines. They often hold formal retreats or welcome travelers or those wishing to pursue a private personal retreat. The rooms are simple and small and share a bath. Meals are taken 3 times a day in the cafeteria and prayer is held 3 times a day in the chapel. There is a suggested donation offering per night stay. To learn more about guest accommodations and hospitality at Mount Saint Benedict, CLICK HERE.

To listen to the voices of the sisters in song, CLICK HERE.


Thursday, May 24, 2018


Voice journal from  July 10, 2016
5:44 PM

When Maggie May got older people would look at her and say oh she's so slow and hobbling. It's so sad she can't run anymore (yes, people actually said this). As I'm walking through the woods right now I'm thinking I'm glad I gave her the chance to run wild and free and crazy off leash and through the woods with wild abandon even if possibly it did aggravate her hips or make some things worse in old age... because it was what she was born to do... it was what she was. I don't think she was sad she couldn't run anymore. I think when she stood & looked across the golf course or at the woods, she was remembering all those incredible times that she flew through the woods and swam for hours. And I like to think she felt it was better to have done that and have those incredible memories embedded into her being than having just lived a safe half life. I hope the memories were good enough. And I hope that when I am 90, and maybe can't be on trails anymore, that the thoughts and memories I have of my hikes and adventures and saying yes to life will bring a smile to my face and be enough... and that I'll be happy with the memories and know I lived a full and not half life.



Monday, May 21, 2018

Voice journal recording July 10, 2016
11:37 AM

I've always taken the road less traveled... I've always searched for alternate routes on foot and in thought and in  life. When I was little I was intrigued by Amelia Earhart and her brave explorer spirit, and not so interested in Barbie who frankly scared the heck out of me with her unrealistic waist combined with Dolly Parton tatas. I've learned to embrace being an adventurer and wanderer at heart. And I can settle for a little bit but then my restless spirit pushes me to journey and explore again.

Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries? -Amelia Earhart

There is more to life than being a passenger. - Amelia Earhart

You can find this fine art photography print ON THE WING in my ETSY SHOP.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Maggie May at our favorite Michigan cottage - Spring 2015

***** From my voice journal July 8, 2016
8:07 AM

I'm in the process of listing my place and moving, and I've been going back and forth between doing it and not doing it. And I realize it's more a struggle of staying in a comfort zone, that has been quite wonderful actually for the past 10 years, or seeing new horizons.  But I'm in the city and it's not where I've ever really felt I belonged. And life is short. So I'm thinking it's not so much about staying in my home and moving, but about comfort zones and fear and living in possibility. I'm realizing that is much of the struggle in life... is it so bad to really stay in my comfort zone? I'm mean it's good and amazing and maybe that's what life is calling me to do... stay in the comfort zone. But in moments of quiet... at my core, in my heart, in my gut and in my intuition, I really feel that my chapter here is finishing and I'm being called to see what might be around the next turn and to just take the chance. Life has been so good so far and I really believe there will be more good and amazing things to come. So that's kind of where I'm working myself to - to just taking that leap and seeing what the next amazing thing and chapter will be. And it's a bit bittersweet because my sweet Maggie May - my little fur child and kindred spirit and hiking buddy who passed away 6 months ago - was always supposed to be in this chapter with me. I thought I would do this move much sooner, but as she got older and had issues, I realized it wouldn't be fair to her to have her moving to a new environment and that she deserved her comfort zone in her older years. So I stayed put for her. And I'm glad I did. I'm glad she got to stay in the place she knew her whole life. That in her last years, she got to enjoy the place she loved so much... and I enjoyed it with her. So, I'm getting to the point of  appreciating those lovely blessings. I'm so thankful for the gift of  her, and I'm wrapping her sweet adventurous happy spirit and soul up into mine and taking her with me in my heart on this next chapter.

*** Looking back on this voice journal today May 16, 2018 I could never have foreseen, or even imagined in my wildest dreams, the absolutely unbelievable adventure that was about to take place..... and the way my life - and myself as a person - were about to dramatically change forever.  That's just it.... we never know what is waiting... unless we take that first step and look and see.

Maggie running her favorite Michigan beach - Empire, Michigan