2. Walking through innumerable palace rooms in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Before I went, I learned the names and events and places that carved Spain into our imagination, and it made every step of that journey a sacred awakening of my academic, spiritual, and adventurous life. It made me crave people's stories. It's hard to absorb every detail you see there, and in some ways you just never will, but I do distinctly remember stopping beneath this, and feeling for a fleeting second that I understood eternity. I think I was closer to God right here than any other place or time in my life.
3. The week before I moved back to Utah from California to be closer to Dan, I was up very late packing my things and ruminating over the last several years of my life. College, Washington, books, movies, broken hearts, friendships, adventures, cravings, sorrows, injuries, injustices. I stepped outside the cottage my father had fixed up for me - a place that had been opened up to me as I healed so many open wounds - and went to find an orange from one of many ripe and selfless trees. The horses heard me, and called out softly, a sort of purr they give to acknowledge you.
Standing at the gate was Ralphy, a horse I'd had a sordid history with in my adolescence. We'd competed at Nationals together, but never quite clicked. He was smarter than me. But his eyes were soft and friendly in the moonlight. He let me shove my face in his mane, smelling his smells. Let me run my hands all over his bristly winter coat and down his long nose. He never moved, letting me make peace with every single memory I'd had since I was 15 to that very moment. He was the very same. Both of us older, both of us wiser, but there he was, the horse I'd always known.
It is with these three memories in mind that I move forward from the shortest days of the year, into a year
which will be filled with change, sameness, introspection, love, mistakes, calamity, goofiness, passion, and I certainly hope...Corn Dogs.