Finding Petronella


Saturday October 11, 2014 It is somewhere way deep down in the morning before the light, and I am awake.  I am awake because I can’t figure out how to say goodbye. I came to Finland with the hope of being more than a tourist.  I wanted to slow down and settle in, to stay long enough to allow the people and the place to sink into my skin.  I have written about the major triumphs and pitfalls… Read More

Camp is set, our climbing gear is ready, and we hear the roar of a bus engine.  Forty-six 6th grade girls pour down the stairs, giggling, screaming, laughing.  Apples roll from lunch boxes, sleeping bags are piled unceremoniously on the side of the road, and we call them into a giant circle.  I scan the crowd, soaking in the advertisements.  Abercrombie jacket.  Heavy mascara.  Authentic Ray Bans.  $200 skinny jeans.  Brand new Keds… Read More

Excerpt from our first visit in April 2013: “Petronella acknowledges my presence with the slightest of nods.  She sits on a throne of pillows, eating applesauce out of a porcelain teacup.  Her right hand grasps a tiny spoon, and a ray of sunlight catches the sapphire ring on her finger, sending shadows of blue fire dancing across the cream-colored wall of the houseboat.  Slowly, she extends her hand to me, admiring the… Read More

“Escape. Walk out. Like someone suddenly born into color. Do it now.” – Rumi     One month ago, I reached my funding goal on Kickstarter to walk across Finland, retracing the steps of a 90-year-old woman, and write about my trek.  Shortly thereafter, I quit my job, moved out of my apartment in the Headlands and into the city, cut off and donated my hair, and tried to brace myself for the changes… Read More