It is Thursday and we’ve been out of internet range except for select minutes for days. I have many pictures to post from our incredible hikes in the outback, the center of Australia. There is no way they will upload on hotel internet but I will have access to better soon.

Today is the eighth anniversary of David’s death. I wrote what comes next earlier today.

I never understood the church year and as a kid I wondered why from year to year the stories did not change because some of the repetition bored me. Now I have my own liturgical year, March to July, transplant to expiration. I can relive it in an instant, scenes with vivid recall like yesterday, clearer than yesterday. Eight journeys around the sun so far. Those early ones when the best I could do was to find care for Julia while I allowed for a good long wallow in pain. Then, the years of Miyazaki movies and Chinese takeout. First just the two of us and then with friends (Bless them for their indulgence).Then sitting in piazza San Marco with gin and gelato and observing in NYC with Cheshire and Indian food. Today, waking up in a cold tent, cuddling with Julia for warmth under heavy blankets. Traveling the Australian outback with a group of people we didn’t know three days ago. Last night, arriving at a camp site not set up for us, we made up beds and cooked a noodle dinner together, eating so late that Julia’s eyes were closing. No way I could have imagined today eight years ago. No way could I have imagined the company we would keep this day. Grieving, observing, and one day, not quite yet, celebrating the years and the life I/we share with David.

Much later, we are installed in a little hotel in Alice Springs, the town we will fly out of tomorrow. We’ve taken much needed showers and I am ready for an Australian beer with non-bush food. Tomorrow I begin a new year.