J is for...


Keeping with my ocean theme, after arriving in Washington State and establishing residency by working for a year, I transferred back into college.  

I've been told I'm a social chameleon. Basically, that I can fit in anywhere. That all stems from my ego's insecurity of always feeling like "it" fits in nowhere. But when I began school at Evergreen, I had a sense of belonging. Suddenly, I began to make sense to myself.  Part of that was due to what I considered very authentic friendships. 

I had so many beautiful people in my life.  Two of them convinced me to take a trip to Alaska with them.  They knew of my grandmother working the pipeline in the 70's and how I dreamed of going someday. One of the girlfriend's mother lived in a lovely condo in Juneau and she arranged for us to stay there while her mother was away. 

My babydoll was nearing two at the time so I made her 9 days of bedtime stories on cassette tape. I knew she would listen to them every night and that somehow allowed me to give myself permission to go. I couldn't imagine her not hearing me read to her. She adored that tape I had made. So, I packed. 

We flew into Juneau and it is the scariest flight I had ever been on in my life. It is a night flight. The plane is maximum capacity. I say this without judgement but strictly as an observation: Many on the plane are obese. There are also many human odors permeating the space around me. I have a window seat that I wish I could open. The entire flight is Turbulent with a capital T and, as we prepare to land, all the rest of the letters capitalize, too. Even in the dark, I can see a mountain on one side of the plane and another on the other and they seem way too close together. As we descend, I put my head near my knees and listen to the barf bags quickly opening as passengers attempt to heave into them. Nonetheless, we manage to bounce our way to our gate.

I supposed I could share the glacier hikes we took. Or the shopping we did. Or the art galleries we visited. Or the people we met. But two things stand out for me besides the flight: 1) I saw my first whale pod and fangirled like you would not believe and 2) I serenaded the Aurora Borealis...and I dare say, she fangirled me. 

My how we sang.  

My girlfriend studied opera and, at the top of the Dan Moller trail, she belted out an aria like no other. In vain, my other girlfriend and I joined in. There I watched Aurora dance to the love in our ensamble. Never will I be convinced otherwise. She danced for us. The sky was filled with her choreography. It was as if, with the help of her Northern Lights, we had captivated the entire Universe. 

In. That. Moment.