I love you. I love you in a way that is so fierce, passionate and big, that for a time my WASPy family expected that I would run away with you and we would live together in rapturous lesbian sin. If I was even a little bit into girls, I would have bought a house, married you, and happily eaten the questionable wild game labeled “STEAK” out of your freezer every night by now. For the record, our children would have been beautiful. Also you really need to inform the hunters who you taxidermy for that calling muskrat or coyote meat “steak” doesn’t make it so.
Each day, I grow more proud of you. Your love for your work and commitment to science is remarkable. Little wonder that so many companies want to associate you with their brand- it’s clear that you and your arctic research are going places. The only person who was surprised by your decision to go back to school was you. When you returned from your extremely successful field season, the only person who was amazed by your ability to lead a crew of five people to collect great data in a camp without running water or electricity again, was you.
Sula also didn’t have electricity here. She had the gall to call her visit to this place “a vacation” despite driving on a road so rough that it blew a tire. (Photo Credit http://northofthegrid.com)
Sula, you have a shine, even when doing something as mundane as cooking bear pizza, which to date is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, you emit a radiance that people flock to. My most cherished memories of the past two years were the nights we spent together eating dinner then crafting by your fireplace.
Your friendship has meant so much to me. You offered your house as a place of respite when my own home became a sad, scary place to be. I can’t count the number of nights that I stopped there on my way home from work, just to spend a short time with you and Maddie, to gather enough courage to face my life. Our innate understanding of each other brought me such comfort when my whole life was in upheaval. You are my favourite person to talk about everything with because of that.
I supported and was delighted by your decision to pursue your PhD, but even still, your moving away broke my heart a little bit. Thank you so much for choosing to store your furniture at my house, sitting on your couch, in the living room of my new home consoled me. Though you yourself weren’t there, the memories we shared were; when you learned to crochet left-handed in order to teach me how, the hours you spent afterwards sitting next to me checking my growing blob of stitches, the time that I glued my hands together making a scrapbook tree out of found materials, or when I would munch on lettuce leaves ripped fresh from the huge potter that always sat in your living room.
I will hold those evenings, and all the other experiences we’ve had together, dear to me always. I can’t wait to hear of your new arctic adventures this coming spring and for our conversations and visits to come.
The Great Unwashed
*Names have been changed because I get grumpy when even one person crashes Sula and my time together let alone the whole internet. Back off interwebs, she’s mine.
Some of my family members have a weaker grasp of technology than me, which is to say, I occasionally arrive home to find them sitting in the dark because the contractor put in fancy light switches. The following instruction is for them. If you click on the picture below, it will take you to Sula’s website of science and wonder.
Photo Credit: northofthegrid.com