Apricity

I came across the word apricity when Justin forwarded me a little “article” he thought I’d like. He was right.

I love this word. Love it.

It means “the warmth of the sun in winter.” Isn't it awesome?  We’ve all experienced that sublime sensation- to stand outside on a frigid winter’s day and turn so that the sun warms your face is one of life’s great treasures. The juxtaposition of cold air and warm sun rays, the way it makes us close our eyes and pause for just a moment despite the chill. The way it allows the cold air to fill our lungs with freshness without feeling as though the chill will settle in our bones for all eternity. It sings to the parts in us that love winter AND that love spring and somehow makes space for the seeming contradiction.

It’s not a word that necessarily has a place in everyday vernacular…it’s not commonly known, so to use it means risking sounding like a pompous ass. But I hold it with me, as much a reminder to look for the sunshine and warmth on my cold, dark days, the sunshine and warmth in what can sometimes feel like a cold world, as for the loveliness of the word itself.  

We are still on the road and head over to pick up Kippee tomorrow morning. Cross your fingers for us as we have no idea what we'll find after five months of her sitting forlorn and alone in the Nevada desert. From there we head toward Tucson and Justin begins work on Monday. We've spent the last week or so sleeping in sub-freezing temps outside, re-acquanting ourselves with life on the road, with the sensory experiences of hunger and thirst and cold and exhaustion. It's lovely, actually. A little discomfort brings us fully awake, engages us in ways our usual insulation doesn't often allow for and I'm grateful for each moment of it. I'm also grateful for the shower I'm about to take (the first in, ummmmm, too many days...) and the Reno friends I'm going to see tonight. This life can so often feel a bit untethered, but these are the moments that ground me right back down and remind me of the connections it offers as well. It really is warm sunshine on a cold winter's day.

You are my apricity, y'all. Thank you so much for being here. 

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There was no apricity on this fine day, but Hollis never looks prettier than when fat flakes are falling and it felt like the perfect au revoir as we departed this sweet little town we've called home these last months...

Full

Life has been full lately. Too full...again. I promised myself that this fall would be a little slower, that I would save a little more space for quiet mornings in the woods and casting flies into the rivers still open for fishing. But alas, it's been a "too full" kind of year and really, that's okay.

I think this fullness is a natural part of preparing for our next stage, preparing to leave this place we've called home and step into whatever this next part of our lives will look like. There are a million things, big and small, that go into uprooting your life, into wrapping up the business both professional and personal that must be closed before new doors can be opened. I admit that it can be tedious and tiresome, and it often bears no resemblance to the romance that is often associated with creating a life on the road. But this is the work of the thing, these are the hours that go into earning the beauty and adventure that we are preparing for. And I suspect that when the beauty and adventure arrive, they will be that much sweeter for the work. 

So I will take the small moments between, and I will notice them, cherish them. I will cup my hands around my favorite mug and watch the play of light as the steam rolls off in the chill of the autumn morning. I will laugh from my gut when I find my fluffy dog sleeping upside down and covered in pine needles and dirt in her most recently dug hole. I will light a candle as evening falls ever earlier. I will glory in the leaves of red and gold and fiery orange that crunch beneath my feet as I walk the streets of my town for the last time in this season. 

It is possible to pause and revel in beauty and delight even amid an overflowing to-do list. I would argue that perhaps it's never more important to pause than when faced with an overflowing to-do list, actually. 

And so I will.

Summer Camp: A Martha's Vineyard Hotel With Color

Please let me state for the record that I am not a hotel connoisseur...given my usual accommodations of tents/hostels/ empty airport terminals, sometimes a Motel 6 can seem like luxury to me. But I just had to share this place with you guys because even I could tell it was something pretty extraordinary! Again...not a connoisseur nor an architectural/interiors photographer (these are just quick snapshots I grabbed throughout the weekend), but I just had to share!

I love things, people, places that are FUN. I know that seems like an obvious statement, but I truly value good cheer and bright playfulness over many other qualities, and most definitely over stuffy sophistication (okay, so I avoid stuffy sophistication like the plague, truth be told, but you get what I mean...). Maybe it's my age/stage, but I increasingly find anything too pretentious or that take themselves too seriously simply laughable.

Enter Summercamp.

I started smiling the second I entered the lobby. Beautiful, of course, but moreover, just plain ol' friendly and inviting! I couldn't wait to sit in one of the swinging chairs by the front window or drink coffee on the porch overlooking the water in one of their comfy seating areas.

The staff was adorable and really could have all passed for summer camp counselors...they were friendly and accommodating and found answers for me when they didn't know right away. When there was some confusion at both check-in and check-out (I was there for work and there was client billing involved which complicated matters), they were helpful and eager to please and followed up with me to check that everything was 100%.

Our room was snug and cozy, just their most basic offering, but I loved it. The little details like great colors and textures, awesome toiletries, a fantastic shower (glorious water pressure!), and bedside clock radios that featured all the modern necessities, made this "low-end" room a great experience. The only hiccup at all was the old air conditioning unit...the room tended to be either too warm or too cold and the thing made quite a racket when it was running, but I'm not one to get hung up on such things! 

After walking through Oak Bluffs and grabbing a bite to eat one evening (we got the BEST french fries at Fat Ronnie's Burger Bar!), Justin and I discussed our future and nailed down some plans over a rousing game of ping-pong in the game room...he beat me in the end, but I gave him a run for his money! It's one of the very few hotels I've ever stayed in where the guests truly made use of the lobby and shared public spaces...in the evenings, people were curled up on the porch and enjoying the view, all day the lobby and game rooms were buzzing with people taking advantage of the cute snack bar or nubby upholstered furniture.

So...if you find yourself headed to Martha's Vineyard for a weekend getaway, I can't recommend Summercamp highly enough! It's fun, comfortable, beautiful, and perfectly engenders the joy of summer and vacation and play.

 

 

 

Finding Winter

"Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality." ~Andy Goldsworthy

The Giving of Thanks

This week I plan to dig deep into the practice of gratitude. Not a trite platitude for things which I know I should be grateful for, but to let the real truth of the beauty in my life sink deep into my bones and to fully and unabashedly acknowledge the gifts I've been given. 

I begin today. I begin with the overwhelming gratitude that I feel for the basic fact of my very existence. I am a survivor of cancer, of violence at the hand of another, of heartbreak, and of my own poor decisions. But I am here. And I am whole. And I am enough.

And that is enough.

And for that I am so, so, so grateful.

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Pssst...have you heard about REI's Opt Outside campaign? Consider trading competitive consumerism in for a day spent outdoors this Friday!

Which Way The Wind Blows

We went looking for open spaces yesterday. We went looking for mountains and for the bitter wind in our faces. We went looking for ourselves and for each other and for those versions that burst forth when freed from computer screens and email dings.

We went looking yesterday.

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What have you been looking for lately?