i was resigned to dreaming

i don’t have big dreams. really. i just want a little house to call my own. or an apartment. black people like me don’t live in apartments, but we can learn to. it’s too close for the outdoors, but a woman told me you have to find time. go for walks out bush when you can. it makes things easier. be able to ring my mother once a week. one day hold a book in my hands with my name on it. thats the big one. maybe just a little booklet. maybe host a dinner party once every month or so. i’d like to travel - nomadic spirits, but you know. i could just stay in one place. i have wilder dreams, crazy dreams. but i’ve resigned myself to a quiet life. i’d like to be a little crazy, still feel the yolngu in me shake, the girl who would be a party girl if she could. but she’s okay. i’m okay. i’ll learn my place. 

Colin Haley: “Into the flood again. In November 2010 I made the first solo ascent of Aguja Standhardt. From that moment on, Torre Egger became the focus of my soloing aspirations. During the past five years I have spent so much time daydreaming about this goal, about what skills I needed to develop, about what strategy to adopt, about what equipment to take, and about whether or not I had the gumption to make it happen. In 2011 I started teaching myself how to rope-solo efficiently, all the while with Torre Egger in mind. Over the past few years I actually hiked into the Torre Valley to make an attempt a couple times, but either the weather wasn’t right, the conditions weren’t right, or I didn’t have the nerve at that moment. A few times, even as recently as two months ago, I wrote off the dream completely, resigned that I wasn’t up for it. Yesterday everything finally came together: The weather was beautiful, the conditions pretty good, I’m a much better climber than I was five years ago, and I felt no apprehension. I left the Noruegos bivouac at about 12:45, and arrived on the summit of Torre Egger about sixteen and a half hours later, having also made the first solo ascent of Punta Herron in the process. The ascent went faster and more smoothly than I had ever hoped for. The descent, on the other hand, was a bit of an epic, but that’s another story. In my experience my solo ascents generally are under appreciated relative to ascents with partners - I think this is partially because soloing doesn’t produce rad photos, and mostly because people don’t fully appreciate the difference compared to climbing with a partner. The few people who engage in this game of big, technically-difficult, alpine-style soloing are the ones who truly understand. Regardless, I’m sure that yesterday’s climb is among the very best climbing accomplishments I have made in my life thus far. Very tired, very stoked. @patagonia_climb @petzl_official @lasportivana #nosummitnoparty”

Claire Goes Back Pt. 3

Part 1 & Part 2


    Warm, cozy and still in the early state of still sleeping yet almost conscious I did not want to fully come back to reality. The sounds and smells of Lallybroch were so tangible and just as I remembered. I felt myself smiling at the thought, I knew that in a moment I would wake up to find the cold, sterile bedroom in Boston. Frank’s side of the bed untouched, a happy squeal from Brianna to fully rouse me and the bustle of cars would be heard shortly. I so wanted my dream to be real, I could almost feel Jamie laying behind me, I could smell his unique muskiness— sweat, smoke and whisky. Sighing I resigned myself to the fact that my dream of bringing Brianna back through the stones, back to Jamie was just that, a dream, and opened my eyes. The blue walls of the Laird’s room in Lallybroch greeted me. The solid wood four-poster surrounding me, and Jamie really was there sitting up beside me holding a smiling Brianna on his lap.
   I bolted upright taking in the sight of my daughter, smiling, laughing, playing, sitting with her father.
    It wasn’t a dream. I was in Lallybroch, Bree is with me, we made. Oh thank the Lord we did make it!
    “Good mornin’ Sassenach.” Jamie said to me and leaned over to kiss me. All I could do was smile.
    “MAMMA!” Brianna launched herself off her father’s lap and into mine.
    “Ooof!— Good morning Bree.” Brushing back her sweet, unruly red curls I marveled at the moment we were having. A family moment; Our first morning as a family.
    “Have you been having fun with your father?” Her little face scrunched up, nose wrinkled and a scowl on her face strikingly similar to Jamie’s.
    “Da told me to call him Da, no father.”
    Laughing I hugged her to me, “Well alright then, have you been having fun with Da?”
    “Yes!” Her little voice squealed as she launched herself back at Jamie and snuggled up against his chest giggling.
    “We’ve been playing and talking a little bit while you were sleeping. We dinna wake ye did we, mo nighean donn?”
    “No you didn’t wake me, though I wish you did. I love seeing you with her.”
    “This, ye being here with the bairn is more than a dream. I woke this mornin’ swearing it wasna real, that I was back in my cave dreamin’ ye were here.” His face looked so wistful and forlorn, tears were forming in his eyes as he continued. “I’ve dreamt of ye many times Sorcha, you and the bairn. To wake up and be able to touch ye,” shaking his head, “that’s something I’ve ne’er been able to do before. Then to look over to see this bonnie lass babbling away on the o’er side of me… I canna lose ye again Sorcha.”
    Tears streaming down my face understanding exactly what he was talking about, the feelings he was experiencing, I couldn’t lose him again either. Placing my hand to his cheek I told him just that. Bree sensing the swell of emotions from both her parents wrapped her little arm around Jamie’s neck and the other hand grabbed my arm where it was still extended touching Jamie’s cheek.
    “Mo nighean rudiah, mo ghaol ort.”
    “Wasat mean Da?”
    “It means I love you my red haired lass.”
    “Mo ni, mo ni”
    “Mo ghaol ort.”
    “Maul goo,” Bree’s face scrunched up with concentration, “maul goo or-or-”
    Laughing Jamie kissed the small crease between her eyebrows, “We can start our Gaelic lessons later, mo nighean rudiah.” Looking up at me I could see the tears flowing again from Jamie’s eyes. The longing for a family, the love he never thought he’d be able to physically share shining bright in his eyes.
    “I believe ye said ye brought me something Sassenach, or was I making up something in my tiredness?”
    “No—no, you weren’t imagining things. Give me just a moment and I’ll get it for you.”
    Reluctantly leaving the warmth of the bed, I walked over to the small pouch I had carried with me on the journey. Softly handing him the leather pouch, Jamie readjusted Bree so she was centered between his legs and his arms framed her as he opened the pouch in front of her. First he pulled out the wrapped and framed copies of Bree’s first pictures, he smile brightened as he traced the small black and white newborn photos. A handwritten copy of Bree’s birth certificate was next, listing her birthdate in 1746 and one James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser as her father. Jamie’s hands shook when he saw the document tracing her name and his below.
    “Even on the birth certificate from 1948 I had your name on the father line. She wasn’t Frank’s and never could be.”
    “Thank-you Sassenach.”
    “There’s more.” I urged him.
    Reaching into the bag he found the one custom of the 20th Century I wanted to bring back with me, a male wedding band.
    “It’s a bonnie ring, but why give it to me?”
    “Look at it closer, Jamie.”
    Around the band was the same intricate celtic pattern as my own silver wedding band, on the inside was engraved:

     ‘…So We Two May Be One - C&J’

    “In my time men also wear a ring as a symbol of their fidelity for one woman, that they are spoken for eternally. Will you wear it?”
    Smiling Jamie slipped it onto his left ring finger. “I’d wear it to match yours but as ye can see my right hand still gives me trouble.” Grabbing his hands I kissed the stiff ring finger and then the one holding my brand. “I was wondering about that. I haven’t taken this ring off since they day you placed it on my hand. Will you take it off of my right hand and place it on my left?”
    Bewildered, Jamie slowly nodded, “Aye, I can do that. What about your other ring?”
    Handing him my hands so he could see for himself, only one ring was present— his.
    “Ye said you’ve never taken this ring off?” Nodding to him I watched as he slowly pulled the ring off my finger, “Then have ye no seen the inscription?”
    “Inscription?”
    “Aye, something extra I added just for you.”
    Handing me the ring, I looked inside the band and sure enough there it was,
      ‘Da mi basia mille…’

    My hand went to my mouth to cover a sob. The poem we received as a wedding present from Hugh Monroe etched next to my skin without me ever knowing.
    “Oh Jamie…”
    “I wanted ye to ken even then that I loved ye and I would do anything for ye.”
    Thrusting my left hand to him I asked, “Will you put it on the finger it’s meant to be on?”
    Nodding Jamie slipped the silver wedding band onto the finger it will stay on forever.
   “Thank-you. It wouldn’t have felt right to move it there myself. You’re the one who gave it to me, it had to be you to move it.”
    “You’ll ne’re have to worry about moving mine, Sassenach. It’ll stay where you put it just as ye have stayed in my heart since the day I met you. I will say it is a different sort of tradition, but not one I dislike. They already know I’m yours but showing them in another way wilna hurt them.” Smiling, a large cat who got the canary, smile Jamie gathered me into his arms squishing Bree between us, eliciting giggles from her.
    “Thank-you Sassenach, truly. You came back to me, brought back my child, and these wee gifts of love. I canna ask for more.”
    “Well I can ask for more.”
    “Oh?”
    “Yes. I want us to live as a family.”
    “That will be difficult right now with the Red Coats patrolling looking for me. As often as I can I will come home to ye both.”
    “James Fraser, I did not come all this way for you to still live in a cave!”
    “I canna have you in danger, you or Bree. I’ll stay away to keep you safe!”
    “We could leave…”
    “What?”
    “Go back to France. We could be together and you wouldn’t be hunted in France.”
    “Maybe no, but I’ll no risk the family. You said I would be in the cave for seven years, then the Red Coats will be less prominent and then we can take our place as Laird and Lady for good.”
    “We’ll shall see. This discussion is not over, but if we continue Bree will not be happy for missing her breakfast.”
    Nodding Jamie handed Bree to me, quickly donned his kilt, picked Bree back up and headed towards the kitchen. In the kitchen with Mrs. Crook was like stepping back in time. The look, the feel, the smells all resonated within me saying, ‘Welcome home.’
    Jamie came around from behind me and circled my waist in his arms, kissing the side of my head.
    “Dinna think you’ve won this battle, Sassenach.” He whispered, kissed me again and smarted me on the bum before grabbing a few bowls of parrtich to take to the table for Bree and himself.

part 4