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Farewell to A Magic Place

Flying away from Nome on the way to Kotzebue last week. The view will be just as beautiful but much more bittersweet when I fly out for good later this month. Photo: Laura Kraegel, KNOM.

Time isn’t real. So somehow it’s already June, and somehow this is my last blog post. Ignoring my own manic laughter for a minute, I’m realizing that I’m not really ready to say goodbye to Nome, the Bering Strait region, or the KNOM volunteer community.

There are still so many stories I want to report on, so many corners of the countryside I want to explore, and so many incredible people to meet or know better. But I can’t do it all. Because time is real and I am leaving in less than two weeks.

That truth has been swirling around in my head for the last month or so, but it’s hard — nearly impossible — to confront it on my own. In some moments, I acknowledge it and accept it. In others, I ignore it and deflect my own feelings with surprising force.

In this audioblog, though, Emily and Mitch helped me wrap my mind around a few things and even articulate one or two out loud. It barely covers a fraction of my thoughts and feelings and memories. It definitely doesn’t say all of the things I want to say or understand about my experience here. But I’m also realizing that nothing will.

There’s too much to say, and there are too few words that will do it justice. So I think I’ll just let my goodbye be. I won’t get too ambitious, and I won’t stuff it too full. Because this 20 minutes of talking could just as easily be condensed into one word of thanks.

Living and working in western Alaska has been such a gift, and I am so grateful for every moment this generous community has given me. I wish I could return even a fragment of everything I have received. Quyanna.

1 Comment

  1. Courtney Cousins on June 12, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Laura Kraegel, it was so good to hear your voice again! It makes me think of making ninjabread cookies and eating the best blueberry ice cream that’s ever existed. You made my last few days in Nome very special, and I wish I could return the favor. Good luck! I can’t wait to see what you do next.