One of the silver linings of waiting out the coronavirus Pandemic is the time provided to work on projects that always got shelved during better times. Since our travel plans have been suspended (we were supposed to be in Hawaii right now), I decided to start work on a post that crosses my mind regularly. The idea began with this photo from over ten years ago showing my family walking toward the Roman Colosseum.
My wife, Mrs Bear, is leading and my grand daughter, Amelia, now 14, is walking on the ledge. I spontaneously snapped this photo, capturing both beloved family and landmarks together in the same frame. During the next decade, I grew to love this image angle.
The photo above captures Mrs Bear as we walked through the ruins of a Roman city in Israel. Now for another explanation … Forty Eight years ago, I had the really good sense to ask out a young woman who knocked on my New York City office door. I couldn’t help her with directions, but asked her to dinner during our brief conversation. At the time, I was surrounded by nine million people, but felt uncomfortably lonely. I figured, “What the Hell … There’s a 25% chance she’ll say yes.”
Here she is walking out to the North Atlantic from the Ring of Kerry … Continuing the story … At our first date, I sat quietly as she talked about deciding at about age six to become a physician. Everything from that point on had been designed to be accepted to medical school and make her dream a reality. I remember thinking that this was a person who knew how to set long term goals and succeed. I was capable of similar accomplishments, but felt that I was spinning my wheels. Here was someone that I could learn from. AND one of my strengths has always been to attach myself to people who taught me advanced skills.
Here she is leading the way back to our Irish castle lodging after a local walk … To continue, most people see me as wildly driven, competitive, and goal oriented … But in my own house, I have always been a step or two behind my incredibly insightful and intelligent wife. I say this with pride for her skills and the reality that she saw something in me that made her decide to spend her life with me. The reality is that Mrs Bear is a better person than I am … and trying to keep up with her makes me a better person too.
Here she is leading the way up to a Scottish castle near Inverness … So I fell in love with taking photos of Mrs Bear leading the way to wherever we are going. They are metaphors for my life.
Back in Ireland’s County Wicklow …
Walking ahead with our brother in-law among the Giant Redwoods of Muir Woods.
Here Mrs Bear is leading me to a Cambodian village.
Here she is leading the way to a boat village on the back side of Hong Kong.
Mrs Bear led the way as we walked the River Forss to its mouth at the Irish Sea.
This pic was taken at Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand, crossing a glacial flood plane.
Mrs Bear trail blazes along a jungle walk near Cairns, Australia.
Mrs Bear and our daughter Malia, leading the way to breakfast at an Alaskan cafe near Girdwood.
Mrs Bear with our local guide in Sichuan, China.
Rehab from a broken leg slowed her down, but, as always, Mrs Bear pushes herself, and me in the process. This was taken on a rainforest walk along Australia’s Great Ocean Road
Finally, walking up the steps to a Buddhist temple near Chiang Mai, Thailand. I could go on and on… There’s nothing I love more than following my wife as she takes me to unexplored destinations, achievements, and maturities. I’ll just keep holding on for more journeys.