After an Alaskan summer that seemed non-existent, my partner and I have begun a very adventurous autumn.
This past weekend we drove up to Denali National Park. Each year, the park hosts a “Road Lottery.” In June, my partner and I both paid our ten dollars to apply for the drawing. The winners drive the entire 85 miles of the road through Denali, all the way to Wonder Lake, rather than having to turn around at mile 15 (Savage River). My entry “won,” and our day was Saturday. We drove up to Denali on Friday, stayed in a cabin, drove the road on Saturday, stayed again in our cabin, and drove back to Girdwood yesterday. The scenery was beautiful, the weather was lovely, and the wildlife were cooperative. A wonderful day.
Today we’re getting ready for our next adventure. Early tomorrow morning we board an airplane, bound for Detroit. We’ll stay with my partner’s family for a few days, and then my partner, her mother and father, and her sister board a plane bound for Tanzania. Her grandmother and I will stay in Michigan, playing frisbee with the dog.
I’m pretty anxious about this particular adventure. It didn’t help that the State Department sent out warnings that Muslims in Tanzania might be unhappy about the burning of their holy book. I’ll be much happier when my partner and I and Brady are all safe and sound, back in Girdwood.
But the adventures keep coming this fall. A week after our return from Michigan, we’re going down to San Francisco, where I’ll meet with the Western Region Subcommittee on Candidacy. For some reason, I seem to be distracting myself from my anxiety about the actual interview by worrying instead about what I’ll wear. While I’m in Michigan, Grandma and I will have to take some clothes-shopping breaks from our frisbee-playing with Brady. Then maybe I can focus more seriously on preparing for the interview itself.
It’s when life’s adventures seem as daunting as these that I miss prayer most–not the non-theistic prayer I wrote about recently, but the kind of prayer where there’s someone on the other end of the line. There was something reassuring about believing I could simply “cast all my cares upon him,” and he would take care of everything. Far more tenuous is this sense that there is a vast, interdependent web of cause and effect, and all I can do is send positive wishes and actions vibrating along my tiny corner of that massive network.
May there be peace in our hearts, and in our world, and may we all come home safe.