Brad has always been an amazing influence on my life, in so many ways, all the way back to his birth. Initially it was me leading him into camping, hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking, new friendships, travel, and design but that changed. I can't remember when it was that he began to push me to the next more difficult step. We were still doing all the same activities but with Brad's nudging, I would go harder, faster, further, He radicalized my thinking in topic after topic. He radicalized my efforts in activity after activity. I've spend every day since 1968 teaching and learning; learning and teaching; and marveling at the unfolding adventures Brad has introduced me to. The latest is his wonderfully sweet relationship with Yessi.
If you've been reading this blog, or Brad's blog you'll know that he hiked 5000 miles in 2012. At the end of the year, his adventure was topped off with Yessi's company. They met in New Zealand when Brad was hiking the Te Araroa trail and Yessi was spending a year traveling and working in New Zealand. They got together again in China where Brad met her family and enjoyed a quick tour of Xiamen and surrounds, before they took off to hike the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. Yessi's first hike was begun on one of our world's most challenging treks, not a hike at Ebey's landing, or some other wonderful, but relatively easy hike.
|Yessi on the Annapurna Circuit|
Yessi is a go-for-it-person and she's hooked up with a go-for-it-guy. Wavering isn't part of the relationship Brad and Yessi are tackling. From Customs to hiking to cultural differences, their relationship has been one huge adventure.
With a traditional Chinese upbringing, Yessi's exploratory enthusiasm is especially remarkable. Not that she doesn't suffer conflicting values, like us all, but she still jumps in to experience the new, taking her well beyond her upbringing in xiamen, China. And, naturally, she takes all of us, especially Brad, well beyond the customs of America.
The latest, and perhaps one of the more remarkable activities she's engaged in on her return trip to America is climbing. On a cold day in November, on Whidbey Island, she conquered her fear of climbing on Mt. Erie, WA. Shivering with fear, she stepped over the edge with a smile on her face.
|Yessi rappelling off Mt. Erie|
Brad's life is far richer for knowing Yessi and her life has expanded to unfathomable places in her relationship with Brad. All our lives have expanded. We are grateful!
|Yessi & Brad sharing a quiet moment on the Mukilteo ferry|
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.