Writers wanting a free ride

Ok, I won’t lie. This is an amazing idea. Amtrack is offering free residency for one of their long rides. It’s a program which on a rolling basis which accepts promising new writers! The form is quick and easy to fill out (yes I might be filling it out right now! ) so why not give it a try! Maybe you can be the next great traveling writer. 🙂

* Note, as in the comments, it’s been noted that what you submit can be (though may not be) used by Amtrak. I always suggest writing pieces specifically for contests. In short, don’t give a piece that you are supper attached to/don’t want them using. 🙂

train

Ice Climbing

“What are men compared to rocks and mountains?”

-Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Last weekend, I treked 10 hours up to Northern Michigan. The roads, snow-covered and icy, beckoned to my soul that’s trapped in the doldrums of working a nine to five job. My heart skipped a beat as my body didn’t yet completely stir, eyes fallen with sleep, hugged in with layer after layer of clothing to protect me from the negative degree weather until I was little more than a human marshmallow.

I went out an ice climbing virgin as the sun rose. As it set, I fell even more in love with nature.

I wish sometimes that I had started climbing for better reasons, that life after illness and a two-year, soul dragging relationship hadn’t left my world shaded gray. But after weeks of crying, I could take it no more and I found myself at my local rock-climbing gym, looking for something to take my mind of of things.  Climbing started out a distraction and nothing more, but over the year, I have found my reasons changed. I have found myself change.

I climb because it is there.

I climb because it is hard.

I climb because I am not good of it.

But mostly, I climb because I see God in the stars, moon, trees and running steams.

In the darkness, I found beauty.

If you are lost, there is something out there for you.

You just have to find it.