Perspective and connections

7 09 2011
Often Awesome Episode 15…Across the Pond

“….and this frame is shot horribly”.  Tim LaFollette

The brogue always takes me back, that and the perpetual overcast.  Then again my life is a continuum of overcast days, light misting rain, heat stealing wind, and autumn temperatures.  17 seasons of fishing from June to September can make the world seem bereft of a summer that isn’t alive with jumping salmon, brilliant open skies, and liquid slate ocean horizons.

Despite the fact that it has been nearly 8 years since I last stepped off a plane to look for a dock and find a boat, so many of my senses are wedded to that space.  Visiting Scotland was like that, it was an extension of that time-space and you can see it in the grey backdrops in this episode.  I experienced this again in the forests of Maine, in hikes in the Appalachian mountains, in the volcanic terrain of tongariro national park in New Zealand.  Frankly, everywhere that I have considered akin to home, it draped in this. So its little wonder as Ohio takes a few steps towards autumn and the temps drop and wind twists and the air grows cool and damp, that I feel alive and home.

This was one of my mother’s favorite seasons, though I think it was less about the weather and more about the changing trees and the anticipation of holidays and family gatherings.  She was the power behind much of our families celebrations and it was woven into her from her heritage.

With most of my mother’s side of the family gone, it makes this a odd time of the year; brimming with anticipation but long in its sense of missing something and lonely in its cold.  I do my best to fill my mother’s culinary role with my father, sister, niece and nephew.  I’m totally convinced that my sister’s children associate me with food.

This is a great time of year to take in all the connections that have been made, to celebrate the harvests of community and action. To find reasons to gather and share what we have; whether that be food, fellowship, laughter, or a blanket.  It’s a good time to remember and to cherish what has come and seek to grow new lights in the coming darker months.

Its my favorite season.  Its also a time of deep remembrance as the anniversary of my mother’s death is also the mark of the coming ALS walks in Ohio as well as the dawn of the Iron Horse Challenge.  The ride to Dayton is always the jewel of promise, with its 74 mile length being inviting to so many riders who have gotten stronger through the spring and summer, who have done perhaps a few other events and have gotten a taste for what being part of a charity or community event can be.  It a perfect time, when the summer is still hanging in the day, the sun still vibrates with warmth, and the mornings hint at the coming changes, the cool, crisp air bracing and making everyone wish they packed a few more (and then later a few less) layers.  The Dayton IHC is the best of the season, of being able to make the riders feel like they are alive and getting a last long look at Ohio before its time to drag the bikes inside; losing the daylight and the cold driving people indoors to gyms and stationary trainers.  The beautiful, long light that graces through the morning trees is one of my favorite treats and the chance to view this through Big Run park on Sunday morning, just as the sky begins to lighten and brighten is a great way to begin the days event.

Ohio is so beautiful in the autumn and the chance to share this is as much a gift of the Iron Horse Challenge as any reward I could find; the compassionate will find the fellowship and the walk to be the best gift of all.

I am so grateful for the people who have come together to be a part of this event over the last 5 years, who have kept the momentum going in this local fight to bring awareness and funds to fight ALS here in Ohio.  I wanted also so show just a few pictures of the team that has evolved over the years on our Dayton IHC event and here they are in no particular order:

Audra Slocum, Ed Penczek, Max Ink, Sherry Foster, Darin Hadinger, Amela Pozder, Caitlin Ryan, Jesse Commeret Myers, Lauren Pinkus, Steve Flandro, Denver McCarthy, Lee Hope, Steven Hurt, Dean Marcellana, Lauren Strawn, Jason Cleveland, and Chris Parkerson…thank you for making this such an amazing event and for doing more that hope for a cure for ALS!

CIMG1927alswarriorohio 09


IHC 2010 016P1010028


IHC 2010 054IHC 2010 036


IHC 2010 042IHC 2010 038

Thank you all for your perspective on hope and your commitment toward action to do more than just hope for a cure.  Together the connections we make with each other and to those who fight help change the tide in this war.

You are all ALSWARRIORS!  I am proud of you all.




2 responses

10 09 2011
Joe S

Wow it is that time, the seasonal arc begins. You captured the tone so well. My summer was so superb that I look to Fall and Winter feeling so lucky. Today I’m having a backyard party. If I can steal away a few minutes from last minute preparations I will print up your paragraph that starts “This is a great time of year to tak in …” to share with my guests. Wish you could join in for the party and wish I could join you for the Iron Horse in my home state of Ohio. /Joe S

10 09 2011

We wish you could too Joe…love where you are and do what you can..Always!

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