My 33rd year was a wild ride of adventure - travel - big questions - dead end roads - unplanned journeys and new layers of awareness!!
I started my year last April celebrating my birthday in the mountain town of Ketchum, Idaho nestled at the foot of the Sawtooth Mountains. I lived in Ketchum for 9 months working at a Community Health Educator with Planned Parenthood. Most of my time was spent teaching puberty and sexuality education to middle and high school students at both the public and private schools. The experience was challenging and isolating but also allowed a flexibility to explore the amazing nature around me. The Wood River Valley is one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived. The foothills are blanketed with sagebrush and having grown up in the high desert of Central Washington I always feel at home where sagebrush grows. The position lost most of its funding and with fall approaching I decided to head back east for holiday art shows.
EAST TO WEST
It took 21 days for me to drive from Idaho to Massachusetts, camping 18 of those days and staying with friend on the other days. I remembered how the road is my happy place. Setting up my campsite and packing it up every morning was such a innate rhythm for me. I met a kindred spirit at Craters of the Moon, went fly fishing on the Teton River, slept in a yurt, slept in a tipi, fell in love with the mud pots at Yellowstone National Park, took slow walks along the madison river at dusk, moon bathed in a tipi next to the Devil’s tower, got lost in the cornfields of Nebraska, saw Georgia O’Keeffe art in Iowa, Slept next to the Mississippi, fell in love the with fingerlakes and Ithaca, Slept by a tiny lake in the Catskills and only had rain as I was driving into Boston. It was the most reinvigorating 21 days!
Coming back to New England was such a reflection to realize how much Idaho had changed me in just 9 months. I ached for the vast openlands and silence. I had a busy holiday season and reconnected with friends. I also continued to teach metalsmithing workshops. I love teaching these workshops and learned so much from teaching adult learners.
In January after 5 day delay due to a Nor’easter I arrived in Washington for a delayed holiday time with family. I spent my days hiking and soaking up the colors of Central Washington. I realize how the land feels like home to me. I created a personal residency during my time there, a quilt project. I took walks everyday, took a picture, translated it into a very simple design and sewed a patch. It was such a great project to get back in the rhythm of see - design - create.
I came back to the East, to Maine this time to a small town 1 hr north of Boston. Due to my beloved turbo engine subaru exploding and being without a car for weeks I translated my quilt project into a brooch project. Now translating the designs from fabric to metal. I have 12 brooches made. I am so excited and proud of this project. There is no motive in this project except just to make - to tell a story of where I come from - to explore how to translate landscapes. I also was able to take a pie workshop from one of my favorite bakers and it inspired me explore baking more. So I’ve been baking a few pies every week learning and improving recipes.
This all leads to the end of 33 and beginning of 34. I’ve moved to the south, Western North Carolina nestled next to the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s a special place for me with my Mom’s family being from the Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains. I always feel connected to my Nana there, even after living most of her life in Washington Tennessee and those mountains were always home for her. I’m excited to explore the mountains more and to start a massage program in the fall. With over 10 years working in health I’m excited to connect bodywork to the experiences and knowledge I have gather my journey so far.
So much to unfold and learn this 34th year. I hope you are healthy and learning!