The choice to embark in penance is already…a response to God. Lenten penance is not simply giving up something that we will resume to partake in after the season, but rather it is directed towards transformation resulting in an inward renewal that changes how we relate to God, others, and ourselves. Penance re-trains our way of understanding, our way of living, our way of being.-Father Sebastian (on Ash Wednesday)


It is barely February and already I am hearing chatter predicting that this year is going to fly by very quickly. 

Well, I certainly hope not. 

Sometimes I get into autopilot mode as I go through the monotonous motions of the day. And if I go on autopilot long enough, I enter a trance like state, loosing awareness of fluidity around me including the passing of time. 

But ever since I started embracing my Diffusious tendencies and nursing the impulse to do things I want to do, or am curious about, but in every sense- am not particularly good at- my perception of time moves more slowly these days. 

Looking back at this past month, I have had plenty of outdoor adventures. Maybe it’s due to the momentum of the new year. Maybe I have been rain deprived for so long living in California and now that water is making a badass comeback with El Niño, I hold the inclination to be outside whenever it pours. Or maybe I like to run through the woods pretending I am Katniss Everdeen. Or maybe it’s the sweet smell of wild flowers and eucalyptuses, the sound of snapping twigs under my feet and whisper of flowing streams, and the cold mist in my face that keeps drawing me back. 

All the above are valid maybes. In fact all the above are true. But mostly I realized that hiking is how I bond with people. I hardly ever go out on my own. Subconsciously, I may still fear my mother’s proverbial like stories about the little lady that went into the woods by herself. Long story short, the little lady had no survival skills and died…

Although it is liberating to go out and find a  path to walk on your own, I much rather prefer company:

DAY 1  


 This is like an important place. There’s a lot of people not from America here.– David (Torta and wine wasted at Muir Woods National Monument)


When the rain rain went away   

Two sisters went out to play 

Into the woods, into the woods

Up the stairs made out of stone

Little did they know, they were not alone…



 Do you see that old man?– Hanna (spotting a senior citizen doing pull ups off a tree branch)



I’m going to make Darren this bike sign. I think a need a foam board. What else?

 Just take this one. All we need is a screw driver.

– Anna and Andrea (collaborating on a gift for Darren)

DAY 23


We could say we’re in Hawaii right now.

This looks like The Shire.

Greetings from Jurrasic park.

Doesn’t this look like Rome?

We could say we’re in Alaska right now.

Doesn’t this look like London? Call me Emily.

Good morning, Emily! Call me Adele.

-Maiya, Anna, Andrea, and Hanna (walking 10 miles around San Francisco, acting up, and feeling like they’ve traveled the world)


DAY 30







Little kids say the most interesting things. I want to be the one that listens. 

– Andrea ( explaining why she’s a nanny) 



The hardest part is showing up.

–Hanna (contemplating movtivation) 



Growing up I understood life in a linear sense: with each new phase, a step forward, and in turn, a step backward ultimately equaling failure. In conjunction, I regarded adolescence as the plasticity period for finding our life’s purpose—and after declaring what that is, life is set.

You can imagine this kind of mindset puts a lot of pressure on a young person that wants to be so many things. A broken heart unavoidable time and again when phases ended and everyone around seemed to move forward while I stood still or staggered backwards…Well, there is only so much of that feeling I can take. In order to embrace reality as is, I simply changed my understanding.

Let say, life is not linear.

Rather, it takes the shape of a spiral, moving either wildly or calm with momentum solely depending upon how fast we will it. When coming to the end of a phase, it may appear similar to a previous starting point, but it is not—we are dealing with spirals rather than closed circles after all. At the end of each phase and beginning of a new, we harness the all-encompassing energy and emotions of ourselves and all its former versions as we move on to a new turn, and at each bend there presents an opportunity to expand or contract, an opportunity to redefine ourselves and find new purposes as we evolve from our core.









  1. You will look hardcore- Whenever I see people working out in the rain, I always think to myself with slight envy turned admiration, “Ugggh…fierce.
  2. Rain is good for the scalp– I heard this once. And although I can not prove it, I believe it.
  3. Splashing in puddles is okay– Where else in the context of your adult life is playing in puddles socially acceptable?
  4. You will feel clean-The rain constantly washes the sweat off your face, leaving you with a dewy afterglow. Whether or not you need a shower afterwards is totally debatable.