wander project chasing rain


It is taking a moment, stretching and finding something. The rain falling around us as we wandered. It doesn’t matter if you are free of limits. The rain is simply a natural event. A compilation of evaporation, and when the evaporation reached a point, the saturation creates rain. Humidity becomes the answer to a cocktail party trivia question. Why does it rain? It rains because it can. In London, it remains because the UK isn’t a huge island. Rain in the US, in Oregon, has to replenish the water before it reached New York, or the storm carries no rain. In between Oregon and New York are the great lakes, relishing the water in the storm by added evaporated water.

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Each raindrop as each snowflake is unique, but not unique. I watch those raindrops, and sometimes if the wind is right, they travel many miles in their journey from the clouds to the ground. Then hit the ground. They join together in a family of raindrops to create puddles and pools. Sometimes they fall not upon the concrete, not upon the carefully laid cobblestones but instead on flowers or plants. Trees whose roots drink deeply of the falling rain. Flowers that in feeling the water, open to receive it. Each flower, each tree drinking deeply of the falling rain. The rain slightly acidic in its nature, sometimes falling not on the trees, not on the concrete or the carefully laid cobblestones.

It is sometimes falling on the grass. The grass that sips but does not substantially change the amount of rainwater as it is soaked into the ground. Then over time, it moves deeper and deeper, seeking the water table. Once finding the water table, perhaps stopping for a meal, the raindrops now a band of brothers, a collection of water sisters, seek a path. Slightly acidic, if there is the bedrock with the calcium they begin chipping away. Each drops a tiny miner digging into the rock and eventually as the water passes leaving a small hole. The hole growing over a million years, the rain doesn’t care it has forever. The hole becomes larger and larger until suddenly it opens in a cave.

I often watch the raindrops fall. I don’t know where they will go, but I know it is a journey.

.doc

wander project the songs I used to sing.


Each moment that lies in front of us is a compilation. A connection to the things we used to know. When my kids were little I sang two songs to them. One I shared as part of Song Saturday and one I sang at my  — a wedding and posted it on my podcast (here). My wife and I both read to the kids before bed, but I love to sing. When we moved from our last apartment to our first house in Cincinnati Ohio, I was inspired to sing to my daughter as she was calming down for bed. For a long time, I sang the Peter, Paul and Mary song 500 miles. It was a tradition right before my daughter would fall asleep. Now at some point, I was playing around with a song I wrote and sang that after 500 miles.

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My daughter determined that was “her song.” At first, at night I tried to stick to the one song and then bed. But my daughter kept asking for “her song.” At first, she asked my wife and me, but after a while, it was only me. I sang that song to her each night until she was around six years old. When the twins were born I asked my daughter may I sing your song to the twins. She said that was fine with her. Now sometimes when the twins were little, my daughter would joy me (the twins went to bed much easier than their older sister). Sometimes it was just me. I included both versions of the song as part of my podcast, and it is shared at the link in the first part of the post. Also at the bottom.

It is a part of our shared past that always makes me happy. I am, now, no longer allowed to sing either 500 miles or the moon song to the kids. They says “stop singing that song dad, you are making me tired.” I guess that song has achieved its goal. It was written to clam the kids down before bedtime so that they could drift happily off to sleep. The other goal of the moon song was to let my daughter originally and later the twins as well, know what was going on the next day. I missed the days when I was allowed to sing that song and 500 miles out loud. I do sometimes sing songs when I am alone. I did also sing the Moon Song with an ending themed version for my daughter’s wedding.

Songs I sang to my kids

https://virily.com/challenges/song-saturday-500-miles/

the Moon song (here).

.doc

wander project chasing tokens


Seeking tokens to exchange, we find ourselves missing too much. Let the angry tokens go. They bind us to things that are no longer. To things that have not, do not exist outside of who and what we are. Remember and rejoice in the tools you find along the way. Each time we examine the tokens around us seeking meaning. Seeking to grow as people.

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Anger is the token we most fear. Some carry their angry tokens with them year after year. They lock them in a room they built in their heart, and slowly over time, the room is filled. The tokens of anger pushing against the door, against the walls until they burst back out into the wild, and we have to stop. We cannot catch them again with butterfly nets.

We must let them go. Each token must be released to freely return to the moment from which it came, the anger dissipating until it is no more. Some tokens are not angry. They are the ones we must be careful of.  We keep them close as they represent a moment we cherish. But we must always be vigilant that we do not let those happier weigh us down as well.

Each token must be recalled and then released into the wild so as not to create chains. So as not to weigh us down to where all we do is wander this earth, bound to the tokens, we could not let go of — limited by our pain. Letting go makes us stronger. You see, in the end, we are more than simply a collection of tokens. Let those go to be free!

.doc

wander project the tokens we collect


As we wander from place to place in life we collect tokens. They are less physical, but they exist. That token represents the moment the arrival and departure, the moments in between. Each time we go, out the front door to the world, or simply out the back door to eat Crab on the deck. We stop and add a token. Like a maintenance person working in a large building our lives filled with tokens rattle. We, in the course of our lives, collect 100s, 1000s of tokens. Each one represents a moment. We do not often stop and measure them. We don’t often think about the tokens that are there. We continue moving and collecting tokens. Sometimes the tokens have significance beyond our lives.

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Jacob Marley forged a chain of death in his life. His tokens becoming links in a chain that bound him forever to this earth to wander. Yes, the tokens can weigh us down if we do not release them. If we don’t let the tokens be acknowledged. If we carry that token with us too long, it becomes the weight, and it becomes binding to this world. We end up trapped like Jacob was trapped by the chains we forged from the tokens we gathered. We, and by us it a collective, allow those tokens to force us to stop. Let go, and free we can rise to the heights we were meant to see. Let go, and we can be free of the weight. The tokens we collect are helpers.

They are a path to memories. A child collects their tokens delighted in the noise they make as they clank together. A teenage takes the tokens and hides them under their bed with the half-eaten peanut butter sandwich and one honestly sock. It is only as adults that we begin to consider discarding the tokens — throwing them out the window of our lives. We litter the ground beneath our hearts with tokens. Does the make them go away? Or instead, as Jacob did, do we limit our future to wandering a small space with chains forged from tokens we did not understand in life. Release the tokens of anger from your heart and move onward forgiving.

.doc

wander project the songs I used to sing…


Each moment that lies in front of us is a compilation. A connection to the things we used to know. When my kids were little I sang two songs to them. One I shared as part of Song Saturday and one I sang at my  — a wedding and posted it on my podcast (here). My wife and I both read to the kids before bed, but I love to sing. When we moved from our last apartment to our first house in Cincinnati Ohio, I was inspired to sing to my daughter as she was calming down for bed. For a long time, I sang the Peter, Paul and Mary song 500 miles. It was a tradition right before my daughter would fall asleep. Now at some point, I was playing around with a song I wrote and sang that after 500 miles.

N Face

My daughter determined that was “her song.” At first, at night I tried to stick to the one song and then bed. But my daughter kept asking for “her song.” At first, she asked my wife and me, but after a while, it was only me. I sang that song to her each night until she was around six years old. When the twins were born I asked my daughter may I sing your song to the twins. She said that was fine with her. Now sometimes when the twins were little, my daughter would joy me (the twins went to bed much easier than their older sister). Sometimes it was just me. I included both versions of the song as part of my podcast, and it is shared at the link in the first part of the post. Also at the bottom.

It is a part of our shared past that always makes me happy. I am, now, no longer allowed to sing either 500 miles or the moon song to the kids. They says “stop singing that song dad, you are making me tired.” I guess that song has achieved its goal. It was written to clam the kids down before bedtime so that they could drift happily off to sleep. The other goal of the moon song was to let my daughter originally and later the twins as well, know what was going on the next day. I missed the days when I was allowed to sing that song and 500 miles out loud. I do sometimes sing songs when I am alone. I did also sing the Moon Song with an ending themed version for my daughter’s wedding.

Songs I sang to my kids

https://virily.com/challenges/song-saturday-500-miles/

the Moon song (here).

.doc

wander project Denmark


One of the oldest amusement parks in the world, Tivoli it is located in Copenhagen Denmark. There are many memories I have of walking in, by and near Tivoli. The first time I was in Copenhagen with my parents it was right after Christmas. It was pretty cold, after a lot of time spent in the tropics, none of us were prepared for cold again. We hadn’t been in cold air in more than a year. But we wandered around Copenhagen and by Tivoli several times. One of my all-time favorite memories of traveling home from Thailand was being in Copenhagen. We found a toy store with the most intricate animatronic Santa’s Workshop display in the main window of the store.

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We went to see that in the evening several times that week we were there. It was an amazing display. My father had a goal of seeing the Little Mermaid in the harbor. I have the picture we took, he and I, of the Little Mermaid. One of the things I had been thinking about was the famous Danish open-face sandwich. I don’t know why that stuck with me so much. I grew up reading the stories of Hand Christian Andersen (no relation, Andersen was not our family name, that was changed when my family arrived at Ellis Island in the 1890s). You would think based on that, and I would have wanted to see the Little Mermaid (I did but nowhere near as much as my father did).

Or that I would have wanted to see ice skating on the Frozen canals (I didn’t). In fact, when we were there it was cold, but the canals were not yet frozen. It was an open-faced Danish sandwich that caught my fancy. Copenhagen was one of the stops on our way home from Thailand. It was the last stop we would make together. Mom took my sisters, and my home while dad went to Paris to debrief at the UNESCO Global Headquarters. Denmark was where my father, father’s family had been from originally. Our family from the area just south of Copenhagen known as Jutland. Copenhagen felt like home the first time I visited. It felt like home every single time I have been.

.doc

wander project Denmark…


Flying from the US to Europe is often done by leaving the US late in the evening, landing in Europe early in the morning. Well in fairness that is the way I usually did it. I would usually fly to Europe on Saturday, giving me Sunday to recoup before the Monday AM meetings started. Monday was a heavy coffee day, normally would be exhausted. By Thursday I would be adjusted, and of course, flying home late Friday I would be fried when I got home for the weekend. It was worse if I spent two weeks including a weekend away from home because my sleep pattern would be messed up. That was the pain for me, traveling all the time for many years.

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I learned over time that the best thing to do was not get off the plane, and then go to the hotel and take a nap. The best thing for me was to go on a walk when I got to the hotel. That was a lesson I learned on my 2nd trip to Europe (there were two trips to Asia in between). Get off the airplane and go for a walk once arriving at the hotel. In part that would allow me to acclimate, in part, it was to avoid the call of napping. Sleeping on airplanes isn’t hard, but it isn’t refreshing. At least, in fairness, it isn’t refreshing for me. The pictures today are from a trip to Denmark, in particular, the first part of the trip where I was meeting a group of co-workers before conducting a series of meetings over the week.

We were in downtown Copenhagen for the first part of the week. Actually in a hotel less than two blocks from Tivoli. Tivoli is an amazing amusement park. I have had the opportunity to go and wander the park a couple of times. Most of my co-workers were relaxing in the hotel bar when I got there. I unpacked and went for a walk. I love walking in Copenhagen. One of the things that caught my eye was the bike taxi in the last picture. The brilliant yellow stood out against the gray sky. I also love bikes in Copenhagen. Like Amsterdam, there are bikes everywhere. Many US cities now have more bikes than in the days of old. Washington DC even has lots of rental bike stations. But the bike in European Cities is a fun thing to see.

.doc