13 December 2004


It only took two hours.  Actually I think it took less.  The lines, the crowds, the cell phones, the billboards, the hype, the expensive clothes, the loud conversations, the rude attitude. Everything I didn’t realize that I didn't miss was back.  Now that it was back no matter how much I screamed, nor how much I yelled or tried to run from it – there was nothing to be done. Nothing would take it away. I was officially back in the States and officially sick of it.

Since Thursday evening (for the second time) when I landed in Chicago O’Hare I’ve slowly been adjusting back to reality. The reality of it is that I don’t want to adjust. The thought of staring at a computer screen for over eight hours a day practically made me nauseous all weekend. The fact that I wore a stocking cap and gloves in order to stay warm in my vehicle was unwelcome. My inability to get on my bike and ride after work because it is dark saddens my heart. But, what continues to eat at my inner being as I struggle to sleep at night is the idea of letting myself fall back into the rut of corporate America.

For much of my adult life I have worked with youth struggling to determine what to do with their lives. This has involved conversations at youth lock-ins, during Bible studies, one-on-one time over coffee, discussions on pole vault pits, over pizza lying in the grass during pole vault camp… No matter what the venue or overlying theme I have always said one thing. “Take away money. Take away prestige. Take away any outside influence. What would you do with your day?”

For the first time, I had my own question turned back to me. In Abel Tasman on the Barks Bay beach trying to find the Southern Cross in the cloudy night sky I pondered this question. Although I still have not found a complete answer to my own question do know it isn’t what I’m doing.

As the amazing beauty of kayaking in Abel Tasman and having fur seals swim around our kayaks playing like dolphins and the majesty of Mt. Taranaki looming over the surrounding plains melts into the recesses of my mind I know a few solid things.

It was fun.

I’d do it all over again.

As the great mysterious things that I learned on this trip reveal themselves to me thereby allowing me to answer my own questions I will hang onto those two truths. The many pictures and fond memories which constantly dance in my head overpower the struggles I went through and am going through. Those all fade to grey against the amazing colours and experiences had on the two most diverse islands in the world.






Equipment List


    ...previous journal entry