Friday, August 3, 2012

Wait... it's already August again?

Can you believe it? I sure can't. August means I've lived in Asheville for a whole year! August means my first year with AmeriCorps is completed! August means summer is drawing to an end soon! August means my dad's birthday, hot afternoons and rainy evenings, a new house and roommates and neighborhood, new AmeriCorps team, new job placement site... wow that's a lot of new things. August does seem to fall into the "new beginnings" section of the life index, doesn't it?

Well... here I am. Measuring time in abstract ways... like all the things I listed above. This week, true to my annual tradition, I moved. The house reminds me of ones in Denton- old, quirky, inherited from friends, filled with laughs and friends, in a neighborhood biking distance from everything I could dream of. A few weeks ago summer camp ended and my AmeriCorps team completed our year of service with a touching, sentimental graduation. I'm proud to say I played a song I wrote! And didn't make a total buffoon of myself when it was my turn to openly reflect about my year to about 80 people both familiar and unfamiliar. I also committed to a second year of AmeriCorps with Project POWER! Cross your fingers with me that I'm assigned to one of the school garden positions :)

This summer has been a whirlwind... hence my absence from blogland. But rest assured- my absences indicate a saturation of adventure and activity in my life. This summer's adventures included...

- assisting my roommate Xandy in catering 300 Cake Pop/ balls at a wedding
- a solo adventure to the Rainbow Gathering where I met some fellow Ashevillians
- a visit from Cheshire and Ashitaka!
- a trip to Washington DC to visit my brother Joel, Aunt JoAnne, cousin Cara, friend Amanda, and my adopted (Diane's) parents
- Summer camp (10 hour days... whew!) with middle school kiddos and amazing coworkers, which was life changing
- Frequent tube floats down the French Broad and Green Rivers
- Hikes to waterfalls!
- learning how to make a magical elixer to strengthen the liver using burdock (yay for self-guided herbalism studies!)

Until next time... :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Springing out of hibernation

The birds are back- they wake me in the morning with their whistle songs and serenade me when I'm driving or walking. The sun is still up high when I leave work at 6:30. Trees are budding, flowering, and green is everywhere! A few weeks ago, the first baby bear sighting. He was caught in a tree near downtown (funny place for a bear...). But nature isn't alone in awakening from hibernation. And this awakening is just in time.

Consider my absence from this blog as just one dimension of my own hibernation. I have become so ingrained in a rhythm that seems to carry me through each day and week. Any attempts to alter the rhythm (ie, wake up early to go for a run, or go to after school early to prepare for the day) backfires. I wake up at the same time every day. Leave the house at the same time. Leave work at the same time. Go to bed at the same time.

But since spring has arrived, the rhythm has eased it's rigidity. I've found myself on a bike ride through town with friends the past two weekends and expanded my container window garden. I've been able to fit climbing into my lunch breaks. The biggest change, though, has been my own growth in strength and flexibility of both body and mind. And I attribute this to two things: an ashtanga yoga class, and rock climbing.

You see, the past three or so weeks have been insanely stressful, nearly comparable to Social Work Practice 3. The after school program I am starting up and directing has had a lot of major changes and a few kids with some major behavior and discipline issues. There has also been some drama with one of our tutors, and I have found myself pulling on my "social worker pants" and advocating for the three children that make my life hell most days because I refuse to be one more person who gives up on them. At the end of the day, I am reminded why I'm here and why I'm doing what I'm doing. And that I have a long way to go.

It seems that the Texas climate followed me to North Carolina. Winter left much to be desired as far as cold and snow goes, and spring has come and gone so fast it feels like summer is just around the corner. What is around the corner makes everything ok: Spring Break!!! Carol, Jenny, Peter, and a huge crew of folks from the Asheville climbing community are heading out to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky for a week of climbing and camping. I seriously cannot wait to live out of a tent and backpack for a week. This is way overdue. WAY overdue. And.... Ginny is joining us for a few days!!!!!!! By the way... have I mentioned that she moved to Atlanta... 4 hours away?? Yeah. That happened. And I am super excited.

So.. consider your friend Jordan awakened with Spring and back in action :)