What Do We Know?

It’s been a good-tough week.  From a weathered paperback, essays on spirituality and encouragement, I read in the back, a page I had forgotten about: a few thoughts, a few dates.  “October 3rd 1993.  Arrived in Antarctica” … 

Image result for images C-130 with skis
A cargo plane with “big skis”, like the ones our cargo jet used … https://aviation.stackexchange.com/q/26960
Image result for Images Antarctica map


Image result for Images map New Zealand South Island
Map of New Zealand, South Island. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:South_island_map.png

We came on an Air Force cargo jet … equipped with massive skis. (The picture shows a cargo plane with “big skis”, like the ones our cargo jet used).   October 3rd of ’93 was the beginning of a five-month season of work for the National Science Foundation.  My residence at Willy Field on Ross Ice Shelf, the ice runway for incoming / outgoing planes, was where I cooked breakfast for scientists, US Navy personnel, and support staff (about 8,000 eggs by the time I left).   “February 22nd of 1994, last day on the ice.”   On that day, I had jumped on a Navy C-130, with those uncomfortable nylon mesh-strap seats, and left Antarctica.   Nine hours later, we touched down at a New Zealand Air Force base, Christchurch, New Zealand.  For the first time in five months I experienced rain, and nights, and seeing children, older people, dogs, green grass, restaurants, natural fragrances in the air, colors.  “March 8th 1994, left New Zealand for Denver” … reluctantly.  “March 22nd 1994, left Denver for the South, to see my parents for a bit.”  So, it just worked out that way, one month, after my last day on “the Ice” (February 22nd), I flew out of Denver March 22nd, to a small place in the South to spend a week with my parents.  October of 1994, I met my wife to be.”

A year after I got off “the Ice”, February 1995, I proposed to my future bride.  “June of 1995, Married a princess.”  After all this reflection, I am aware of my presence in the “here-and-now” … the present … today, in fact.  And I found my self thinking of two pieces in life we deal with:  1) reflection on our stories / journeys; and 2) where we are at, right now.  In my time of working with people, many of whom struggle with these two pieces, I have asked the question, “What do we know to be true?”.  I’m throwing that out to any who are visiting the Other Side of the Trees, perusing this post.  I believe the answers to “What do we know to be true?” are quite different.  Here is what I have come up with.

Image result for Images Antarctica
Adele (pronounced uh-deli) penguins. https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/Antarctica

My story is not yet finished.

My story is still being written.

My story (specific elements) needs to be told (to the right people, at the right time, in the right context).

I need to hear the stories of others.

I have the capacity to love; the choice to love well; and I face the reality that I do not always love well.

I have journeys ahead; or, shall I say … the journey continues.

I need good, encouraging, safe, relationships in my life.

I have hope … but, similar to love, I do not always hope “well”.

I have something to offer; and I have a great amount to learn.

I need vision; I need goals; I need enthusiasm; I need wisdom – – – not just intelligence.

And, lastly for today, I am here.

Image result for images I am here

Well, enough said, for now.  I always write more that I should, more than I intended.  I hope this finds you all experiencing peace, joy, and good health.





4 thoughts on “What Do We Know?

  1. and you have an amazing story to tell, and still to live. i hope that you will share more, as i think others, myself included, could learn from you. i am endlessly fascinated by the human story and what we have to learn from each other. how interesting that your notes in the back of a book could bring this back and bubbling up to the surface.

    in my own life, when i decided to organize old pictures and notes, it caused me to look back at my life and figure out how to make sense of it and to order it in some way. in this process, in looking back at my life, it almost felt like chapters, thinking about how very different each chapter was from the one before and the one yet to come, and somehow i slid from one to the next, adapting as i went, some made me wonder how and why i did the things i did, but knowing it all led me to here, even when i had to travel over a road fraught with potholes and taking paths i hadn’t intended, not knowing exactly where i would end up.

    when people ask me how i did some of the things i did, i simply answer, ‘it’s what i had to do,’ and that is the best way that i can explain it, and that is it. i know i’m rambling, but i could really identify with your post, and reading it, was, for me, kind of like you reading those notes jotted down in the back of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, you are … with no doubt … a true writer, a wonderful writer. Readers think and feel as though they have been personally spoken to and comforted when they read from a good writer. The idea, and redemptive reality, of our story connects with some more than others. It (to use the word) comforts me that you get it, the power and transcendence of our own personal stories. You said that you are in the midst of a great adventure — writing a book. I urge you: don’t stop. Your followers are waiting… and, of course, so am I. You “did what you had to do” to walk out your story, and get to the next place. So, you have what it takes. Ever read any Anne Lamott? She has a book about writing … and others about living out her story. Later, and thanks for your empowering words ….


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