Wednesday July 25, 2012

A stormy and unsettled day in Nisswa MN - a welcomed relief from hot and sunny.  Our bodies need some rest and recovery after three days with Team Lang - our pals from Rochester who headed out on Tuesday.

Over an inch of rain fell overnight.  Sunny the Wonderdog and Erin never flinched when the thunder and lightning hit about 3am.  Complete exhaustion.  This morning, Erin asked, "is it OK if we just have a chill day?"

Shannon is everywhere we turn up here.  Even Tuesday at the Baxter Mills Fleet Farm Jen observed, "hard to believe we were in here shopping for kayaks with Shannon just last August."

When we asked Shannon last year what did she want?  Anything? Anything you want?  Her answer was kayaks for the cabin.  If you were one of the countless donors to the Shannon Fund we thank you again.
Erin and Lexi enjoying the kayaks

Our friends reminded us again how fortunate we are to have this spot on our earth for our family - "second to none" was one observation.  So in the midst of the beauty - there is a sadness.  There always will be.  I just keep thinking, "Shannon would love this right now".  Everywhere we turn. 

The Langs brought with them rocks they designed to throw in Lake Hubert to honor Shannon in their own way.  Perfect.
Rocks for Lake Hubert

I can't explain the loss.  I can't explain the why.  Only that she would demand we keep going.  And she would demand that we continue to be kind to each other, to our world.  My sister Megan forwarded us this poem that captures that sentiment really well.
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken 
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, 
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho 
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans 
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, 
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.  
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~