~ because not all who wander are lost ~

Monday, May 17, 2010


I am divided at the moment. I am loving school right now, the awesome "study abroad" program I am participating in called "Integrated Natural History- Utah." We are camping, writing, studying, and exploring all over Utah, learning about the history, the people, the science of the state. I am enjoying spending time with my new friends and getting to know the state in which I grew up.

However, half of me longs to be home when I hear about how riverguide training is going. More than half of me, actually. I see pictures, hear stories, and think about my long-time friends establishing new friendships and inside jokes and experiencing the river together, and I have to admit that I feel a little left out.

Although I have grown up rafting, I have never really felt that I "belonged" to a group of riverguides. I've always felt too young, or I missed out on training, where everyone begins at the same level and grows together. Jumping into the middle of things, I always feel a bit like a well-kown stranger. It's an odd feeling. And this year, once again, I am missing out on the crucial beginning point. Still, I know most of the guides from last summer or beyond, and I cannot wait to go home on June 11th! I feel at home with a paddle in my hands, with stars above my head. I even miss the cocky boy scouts and hot, dusty lunches. Most of all, I miss my close friends who are finally guiding this year, and I want to be there with them.

But then again, I am having a great time with Laura, Annie, Erin, Greg, and all my other INHUT friends. I have climbed mountains, eaten ants, canoed in the hail, listened to a coyote, dug for trilobites, talked with Shoshone natives, eaten too many tortillas, gone to church with ranchers, and stayed up way too long talking about life. We will only be together for another few short weeks, and then INHUT will just be a memory. I only have so long to enjoy it.
This is where I am divided: to live in the moment, or to long for another?
My mom gave me some words of wisdom when I talked to her on the phone last night: "There is fun happening everywhere, but we can only be in one place at a time."

This place, this time, are mine. I don't want to rob this moment of its fulness by putting myself partly in another. I can fully immerse myself in river guide culture when I finally pull through that red-rock pass and see the glinting lights of Moab beneath the purple glow of the LaSals, but until then, I am a member of this group, of this moment. Fully.

Well, almost. Home is where the heart is, and my heart roams the red rock canyons. :)