Before my first trip to Arkansas I explained that I was going there because one of my best friends lived in Fayetteville. Now, after I've seen North West Arkansas for myself , when someone asks, ‘Why there?’ I tell them that Fayetteville is the new Paris.
I’ve written about place. About not feeling connected to a geography. And yet… each fall there is one place I miss. I have yet to experience a place that has autumns as pretty as Ontario.
My sister’s birthday is October 2nd so this year on my way to Arkansas I thought I'd swing through Ontario and pay her a birthday visit.
I have an unlikely history of watching sports on TV. Unlikely because I grew up in a home with two sisters, a mom and a father who were all supremely uninterested in televised sports. Dad and Elli would much rather be outside doing something than watching someone else do it on TV. Not me.
I began by watching hockey - ice hockey to my European friends – when I started high school.
It was almost time to say goodbye to Iceland. We had three more days left; one big adventure.
On Friday the 13th we rose early to catch a flight from Reykjavik to Husavik. We were booked that same afternoon on a sailboat from Husavik into the Greenland Sea. We were going whale and puffin watching.
My sporty, outdoorsy daughter is a veteran of backcountry huts. She’s used them for years for hiking and for her off-piste ski adventures. This was my first experience and it was not what I’d expected.
Each hut was different. Landmannalaugar Hut was the largest. The bunks were so deep that you slid in feet first and we all slept together, packed tightly, like rows of sardines in a tin.
Three a.m. seems like an awfully early time to start celebrating a birthday, but when you’re in a place where the sun doesn’t set it really doesn’t matter what time you begin. At least that’s what we’d decided the day before my birthday. Starting the first day of our four-day hike while everyone else was still asleep, seemed like a great idea.
I know a man who is dismal at relationships. Like watching a child playing at being adult, this man pretends an adult part until bored, frustrated, or failing, he's unable to sustain the role any longer. It’s painful watching him. Like reading an essay on Hamlet written by someone who’s only ever seen The Lion King. Yet this man, who seems incapable of building long-term meaningful human connections, has one relationship I envy. He is connected to place.