I think it all began on my second day in Nome. A few of the volunteers and I grabbed buckets and drove a few miles out of town to go berry picking. I remember the silence out there, how our voices got lost in it.
Now, as romantic as that may sound, this is not the beginning of my own love story. This is the beginning of how I ended up getting to tell the love stories of others.
Because, of course, when people arrive in a new place, they still have one foot in the other. On that blueberry-picking day, we were all still wearing our pasts like jackets we had overgrown, pulling at the sleeves determined to make them fit us and the person we would become here.
I remember talking about what it was like to say goodbye to those back home and, more specifically, what it was like to leave relationships and love behind to spend a year (or maybe two) thousands of miles away. We still talk about this often around the kitchen table after a family dinner or after waking up late on a Sunday morning/afternoon. Caitlin and I especially indulge in conversations about love, even though they leave our heads spinning and our hearts exhausted.
A few months back, after one of those conversations, I threw out an idea. We had all these questions about love, about soul mates, fate, long distance, etc., so why didn’t we use the amazing freedom and opportunity we had at our jobs and search for some answers?
That is how Story49’s Love Series was born. For months, we searched for couples willing to share their stories with us, and we found them. They are stories that prove that love, especially Alaskan love, is resilient. Time and distance, amongst many other things, may cause some complications, but love itself is the least complicated thing in the world.
Or, to quote a kid that Caitlin spoke to about love, “Love means no questions.”
The Love Series will air on KNOM next week and will also be posted online. I hope you all enjoy listening to the stories as much as I did.