August in Images

I’m one of those people who when they don’t have the time, or energy, for words, I can sometimes find it still for images.

This August has meant working a lot, and sunburns, and sore shoulders, and never-ending boat repairs. Long day trips out into the Islands, big storms, going to bed early. Mornings in the fog with a cup of coffee, rubbing my temples and trying to figure out what I want to do, what I even can do this winter.

I’ve been back in the states almost six months now. That’s both not that long and a very long time. Sometimes it feels like I keep Armenia and my life there intentionally distant from the life I have here. Separate. Part of it is people tend to treat my time there like it was a study abroad, or a fun gap year, or travel, a vacation. But I was gone for a whole year, all of it, and it was a whole life I left unexpectedly, not a program that ended when a month was up. So I keep it separate, because it’s not something I can really explain or sum up in a pretty way for a fun and easy conversation.

August is usually my favorite month. Honestly I’ve been working so much, and so has everyone around me, that it’s been a little difficult to enjoy it in the way that I usually do. Plus, you know. Pandemic and major life changes.

One thing I learned in Armenia is how to always find something meaningful or positive in every day, even on the lonely ones. It’s not so much lonely that I’m feeling now, just tired. Tired, and about to hit another expanse of uncertainty, which after being thrown into pandemic US this spring sounds… a little impossible I guess?

Maybe you can relate. I think a lot of things to a lot of people are probably feeling a little impossible right now, but it doesn’t mean they are.

Here are some things that are good:

The sound waves make when they hit rock, the feel of cool water hitting your skin, the sort of storm you can feel in the back of your neck.

The sort of friends you can call after a month or two of radio silence, pick up where you left off. The sort of people who quickly become friends, and the ones who slowly do. The sort of friends you make time for, always, and they do the same for you.

The colors the lake can be; bright green in the wind, steel gray before a storm, inviting blue on a glassy day.

Books so good that you juggle them. I toggle between Braiding Sweetgrass, The Poisonwood Bible, and Tell My Horse.

The feeling of being strong, of crossing a distance and the knowing my body did that. The feeling of getting through a task you thought was way over your head, and doing it well.

The knowing that even though it might look or seem impossible, it probably isn’t.

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