a hundred and eighty days

until you have sacrificed
don't judge those who are
sacrificing on the


until you've risked everything you have
for someone else
someone you may not even


don't underestimate the


of those who feel like they haven't really


until they've found something worth
risking their lives for.

Until you have felt


for one hundred and eighty days in a row,

until you've cried at night
or in the shower
or in the dark
or in the car for

a hundred and eighty days in a row

or longer.

until you've dreamed that he was coming home
only to wake up to a seven


mile gap between you

Until you have experienced the distance
and the ache in your chest where half your heart is


Until you have experienced the worry
and the thousands of plaguing thoughts about
that could possibly go wrong

Until you have voluntarily laid your own life down
to the greater calling of service to another,
to a purpose so much larger than yourself,

Until you have been afraid of what all of that could imply,

Until you have had to stand in an airport terminal
and say goodbye
and actually

let go

Until you have left your life and your loves behind
to instead devote yourself to the protection of a


of me, you, the person next to you,

Until the closest you can get is just a letter he touched,
Until the sweetest sound in the world is

his voice 

broken up over a bad Skype connection,

Until you have felt the courage to go,
or the dedication it takes to stay,
or the rivers of strength it takes to wait,
to cry,
to look for words but find none beyond 'i miss you',
to keep going,
to keep pushing on,
to keep persevering

Until you have felt that pain,
but at the same time that enormous amount of pride,

maybe those in our country who make no sacrifices themselves,
shouldn't be passing judgement
on those who are making those sacrifices

on those who are serving and protecting our right
to judge,
to belittle,
to bash,
and to misunderstand.

maybe there should be slightly less awareness for things that matter so little,
and more awareness and


for the fact that there are souls who fight to give me the freedom to even be able to

write this,

and for you to

read it.

someone who has fallen fighting for this,
for us,
for now,
for the future,

should trend higher than
a comment a celebrity made on twitter.

we should talk about this more

talk about

it's true

that you haven't, in fact, truly lived,
until you've found something


fighting for

poetry (of sorts) because my heart is heavy about the way things are and the fact that celebrities and meaningless hashtags are trending over the SEAL that was killed in action recently. and also because i miss someone who is currently feeling so far away (but i'm so so proud of him). 


for me but maybe for you too

today it might feel like everything is breaking up.
but believe me, it's still worth holding on to.

even now.

you're still worth holding on to.

even now.

these things too, shall pass,
sacred heart.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Navajo trail || the road is home

Navajo Trail || 1.3 miles
Bryce, Utah

we circled the parking lot over and over and over again until we found a place to park among the cars with license plates from everywhere you could think of. it was morning but it was already hot enough to be wearing a bandanna soaked in cold water.

tongues native to seemingly every nation on earth filled the canyon with echos as we hiked down the switchbacks and into the gold. the formations pointed up to the blue, blue sky like fingers giving all the credit for their beauty to someone bigger (& breathing stars).

we sweated and laughed and i'm sure somebody was carrying sunscreen. i waited forever at a particularly enchanting turn in the trail for the guy in the plaid shorts to move so i could snap a photo. he apologized for being in the way and then moved further into the frame. oh well. there he will be forever. and now on the internet too, no less.

dad took a photo for a tourist couple and couldn't read the chinese writing on her iphone so abbie helped him find the right buttons. i filmed the process.

we climbed back up up up into what felt like a different layer of the world. the busy layer. so different from where the giants lived and loomed. big and red and orange and nectary yellow.

abbie and i looked out over it all and burned it into our camera lenses and memories like our eyes had room enough to fit it all inside. i wish they did.

because i had a moment of quiet and nothing and a burning desire to say happy new year to my wonderful friends. <3 who ate sugar cookies at christmas? who had a fun new year? how bout those resolutions?


cliff shelf || the road is home

Cliff Shelf || 0.5 miles
Badlands, SoDak

the trail rose 200 feet, up into sandstone peaks that triangled up to the white sky. it faded to the color of dusty blue felt later.

we hiked on a thick, humid morning. we visited a few trail heads, but this was our first. we mostly shot photos and stopped to put our hands on our hips and breathe deep the view that wandered down into the wild valley below.

dad wore a tee with cut off sleeves. abbie was a nautica model. i can't remember what i was wearing.

later we went back with mom and watched a great pink moon roll up over a lavender blue horizon like a sleepy wagon wheel. there was a deer munching in the brush below the summit. black birds couldn't decide where to land.

taillights were hazy red on the ride home. my limbs were heavy and happy tired. my parents talked and we pulled over to watch the sunset through the windshield. kayaks were strapped to our roof in the middle of the desert. abbie aimed her lens like a machine gun at a goat silhouetted on a peak.

i watched as she shot it. and breathed in and out air that was rich with something I don't know how to describe.

so thankful for all you guys. 
you all are beautiful harmonies in this world. 
you make me smile and my heart hum with each of your comments 
and whenever i read your blogs.

 xx || kate