Skip to main content

Hobbits, Mountains and the Real Bad-Ass

I have, at last met the Real Baddest Ass on the planet. Some of you may know that I am, admittedly, a little obsessed with being a bad-ass. Well, I have found him, or her, the boldest Baddest Ass on the planet lives in the Colca Canyon and looks like this.

Do you see him? That tiny speck in front of the mountains. That is the mule that was standing in the middle of our path on the longest day of hiking in all of my life.

Do you also see the amazing backdrop of the mountains behind the Bad-Ass? Yes, you see the mountains? Oh good. Does anyone else think that those mountains are epic enough to be featured in the upcoming hobbit movie? Peter Jackson, bring your dragons, trolls and elves to Peru, you won't regret it.

I felt like I was walking through the mountains of New Zealand with all of my friends; Aragorn, Merry, Pippin, Frodo, and company, which meant that I was thinking a lot about Lord of the Rings while we were hiking through the Colca Canyon.

Here is a sampling of what happens when you get an idea in your head in the beginning of a hiking trip. It's kind of like having a song in your head that you wake up singing every day, you can't seem to shake it.

-Gosh, this really looks a lot like something from the Lord of the Rings movies, the snow covered mountains, the rugged volcanoes, the rivers...

-Hmmm, why don't you ever see the armpits of any of the girls in those movies? Do elven women shave, or do they just always wear long sleeves? What about Eowen? She's human. Does her skin ever peel?

-We kind of look like Uruk hai coming down these hills, the squat set of our legs, the grunting.

-That's it, I want to be an elf. They don't have to sleep, they don't mind the cold, they like eating bread all the time, and they stand around looking at the stars and being wise.

-If we were in a Lord of the Rings spoof movie, what would the title be? The Fellowship of the Bling, The Two Toilets, The Return of the Hot Water? (terrible, I know)

Yes, I did read the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy, and go to the midnight showings of the movies when I was in High School. And I am not ashamed.

The point is that adventures are great, but they are also challenging. In the challenge you are engaged soul, mind, and body. A real-life Adventure is both good and bad. It is dust in your  mouth and holding babies. It is whiplash from sitting in the back of a cattle truck for 4 hours. It is thousands of stars, and a cold so fierce it hurts to breath. It's going a whole week without a shower and realizing that you don't NEED any of the stuff you have to enjoy life. It is watching the Quechua speaking grandmothers eat roasted marsh mellows for the first time. It is the sibling-like bickering that comes from 13 people sleeping in the same room, on the floor, for two weeks.

It is meeting the Real Bad-Ass, and laughing to yourself.

Most of all, real adventures are full of real people; the laughter, tears and messy bits all in one. If your mind, body and soul are all engaged in something, than you are living a real life adventure too. Merry and Pippin would be proud.

So, go get em tiger, uhhhh, I mean Frodo.


Popular posts from this blog

(Honest) Prayers of Intercession

in·ter·ces·sion /ˌin(t)ərˈseSHən/ noun
- the action of intervening on behalf of another

Last week, before flying out to California, I was awake in the middle of the night, feeling my baby move inside my growing belly bump and crying into a pillow. My friend Megan had just been told that the doctors thought her baby boy had cancer.

This precious boy has eyes that light up when he smiles at you. He is the epitome of an almost three year old; he is learning to share, he loves being in any kind of water, and would watch episodes of Dinosaur King on repeat for hours if you let him. Cancer. I can’t even process that word when it is attached to Lester, and now the diagnosis has been confirmed as Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

And so I pray, and in my prayers I invite other people to pray with me, but what those prayers look like might not be what you would expect.

What I think of as prayer has changed a lot over the past 7 years.

I used to think that prayer was saying or writing words to God, and…

Why I resemble Donald Trump’s taglines more than I would like to admit, and why that means that I will not be voting for him.

I’ve lived through a lot of change in the past year.
One year ago I moved to Massachusetts from California, nine months ago we got married, and in a little less than three months we are going to have a baby. Whew! Do you ever wish that you could press a pause button when you find yourself in the middle of a slow day and just take a break from the pace of life? I do, but this has not been that kind of year.

When I’m processing change, I usually get a little more introspective.
This is an example.

At the same time as I’ve had a year of change, full of highs and lows, we have had a year of crazy politicking and quite a few shenanigans.
And lets push the pause button here so that I can tell you- I do not consider this to be authoritative political commentary, it is a personal reflection. If you and I were having a face-to-face personal conversation about my feelings concerning the 2016 election, this is what I would hope to say to you.

It’s been very easy to sit back and look at all …

Keep Me Where the Light Is

It’s the Most Wonderful darkest time of the year over here in New England, and we have a new baby which means that when the sun goes down the dance of “will he or wont he sleep tonight?” begins.

The other day as I was walking in the evening (alone for a few precious moments!) the afterglow of the setting sun painted the sky behind dark tree branches with highlights of gold. The words from that John Mayer song filled my head “keep me where the light is” and I thought about how dark this time of year feels and how hard it is to stay in the moments of Light.

Having a new baby is amazing, but also completely disorienting. One moment you feel on the top of the world, like you have figured everything out, and the next moment you are wondering why babies don't come with owners manuals. He started smiling a few weeks ago, and now he smiles at us on purpose and makes cooing sounds when he is happy. I put him under the Christmas tree the other day and it felt like magic… for a moment. A f…