Ranger Kathryn's Arches

May 15, 2012

Raise them to be bold!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:27 am
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My mother-heart beats with conflicting emotions these days. Youngest daughter is just arriving in rural Uganda for a summer of projects and college internship, and I vacillate between thick apprehension and silent wonder. She is living at the equator in a tent on another continent, part of a small group of engineering students who will build a rainwater harvesting system for a primary school. Far, far, very far away.

I guess I had a hand in this.

My children were raised to try new things — whether that was exotic foods, foreign languages, jobs, musical instruments, or far-off destinations. The oldest had a passport by his first birthday. Is it any surprise that his sister is now halfway around the world doing what her heart tells her to do? Isn’t that precisely what parents hope to see happen?

Fledgling young adults MUST discover their wings. This isn’t easy for them or for their mothers. Perhaps I’m secretly envious, as Africa is a favored place of mine. Perhaps I just want to be at her side, erroneously thinking I can offer protection from danger and discouragement. The struggle, however, is this: at the same moment I’m applauding my daughter’s willingness to be bold and confront her own fears, I’m chastising the choking glut of What Ifs that threaten to rob me of peace and joy.

But wait. A pattern emerges. Was not *I* the recipient of similar “be bold” messages, a generation earlier? Didn’t my parents teach us six kids the value of exploration and adventure and confronting fears? Didn’t my own mother deal with a smothering load of What Ifs, and survive? Ahhh. Yes. Indeed.

Someday, if I have grandchildren, I’ll watch the cycle repeat. Intangible gifts from past generations to future generations shape every one of our lives; choose well what you model.

Mothers, leave a comment: in what circumstances has it been hard for you to let go? What have you and your child gained as a result? (Fathers, you’re free to comment too.)

May 4, 2012

Quick trip to my homeland

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 1:22 pm
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Who’d have thought that a color could be so therapeutic?!? My plane landed in the middle of springtime in Minnesota and the thousand shades of green rushed in, almost to my nerve endings. It’s a color one can nearly feel, green is. Trees — real trees, tall trees, deciduous trees! — drew my eyes high, and lilacs beckoned me to bury my nose in a bush and breathe deeply.  Every hair on my head began to curl from the humidity.

The grass beneath the maple tree wooed me. I didn’t even try to resist.

I’d forgotten how much I love the month of May in the midwest.

One of my daughters is graduating and that surely deserves a long weekend back home. Family is coming from near and far to honor her accomplishment. Rainstorms? They may interrupt the BBQ, but nothing — and I mean nothing — will dampen our celebration.



July 15, 2010

Precious beyond telling

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 11:31 pm
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Days with family have worth that cannot be described; I am so grateful for their willingness to drive 1400 miles to spend time with me. Our adventures have been sweet and it is my hope that memories are being made that will last a very long time.

Hiking up Professor Creek to the waterfall was refreshing as the mercury hit 102 degrees in Moab. It seems considerably cooler than that as one walks in the stream that runs off from the La Sal Mountains.

Kathryn & Becky along the Professor Creek hike, north of Moab

The 15-foot waterfall pounds the girls after 3 miles of hiking

Tonight’s secret hike to XXXX (a Class 2 archeological site near here) was a highlight for us all. We had the trail all to ourselves. I asked the other five members of the company to please approach the alcove in silence and respect the silence while we were there. A thousand years ago, ancestral Puebloan people lived and worked in this area and the site was regularly used. I wanted us to be thoughtful about its history, rather than cavalier about trekking through their space.

Evan prepares for yet another photograph of the stunning canyon

Family: nothing can replace them.

July 14, 2010

Snippets from family fun days

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 6:54 pm
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Evan finds a perch high up in the Fiery Furnace

Slot canyons, sandstone ledges, swimming holes only the locals know — we’re making a good deal of fun for ourselves while my five Minnesota visitors are here. We’re not paying attention to the fact that Moab’s high temps all this week are hovering around 102 degrees. It’s a dry heat, right?

It's okay; I promise they're safe.

Niece Kailey and a friend, at the local swimming hole

Sister Becky at Little Wild Horse (slot canyon)

Evan & Marta atop a Navajo sandstone knoll at sunset

At age 19, I guess your knees can take this impact...

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