The ground beneath our feet is a character in this life. The ground on Strawberry Island is uneven and rocky; I had to be careful and attentive every moment there lest I fall. Similarly, the four other people who shared the island with me were in a state of change, themselves seeing new things on unsteady feet. The glorious feeling of engaging your body so as not to fall over -- like learning to stand on your head or ride a bicycle -- this, in my mind, is what it feels like to fall in love with a place. When after days, weeks, months, of feeling deliciously off balance, everything for a moment quiets in balance.
I am off balance again. Navigating a loud world. I am reaching far into myself to find empathy for each tourist I see. I am envisioning the potential joy they will have here in Alaska, I'm trying to see merit in their adventure... but today this is hard for me.
My heart is heavy, and I feel alone in this strange flood of consumer need. I feel far away from my safe tent (where the only voices I could hear were of friends or animals). Where if I needed a hug or a hand to hold I knew where to go (it wasn't far). Where there was always a rock on the beach to lean against, a whale to listen to, and a meaningful task to be done.
This will get easier, but today it is hard. I will keep that.