The Only Way Out is Through

In Yellow House Chronicles by Natalie Shaw

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I am writing this from the bottom of a hill.

I live here now, with the mosquitoes and the ticks and the stinging nettle, because I’m tired. I’ve been running for over 30 minutes, up and down these hills, through mud and rocks and clouds of gnats, and I’m tired.

I’ll be fine here. The ground is soft, I’m sure some of these plants are edible, it’s bound to rain eventually.

I can’t turn around, there’s a hill there too. It’s not quite as steep, but there’s another one behind it. I ran up and down so many hills to get here, to this last hill, but this one isn’t fair. This one is too much.

So I live here now. Please forward all mail to Natalie Shaw, Bottom of the Hill, Somewhere in the Woods.


Last winter I went on a ski trip with my brothers and my cousin Brad. With my fearless, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants brothers in the lead, we found ourselves at the top of a steep, icy, mogul-covered hill. My brothers quickly disappeared over the edge, and Brad and I followed suit, only to find ourselves halfway down and stuck.

We couldn’t go back, there is no going back when it comes to skiing and hills. We had to go forward, and eventually, slowly, with bruised butts and egos, we met my brothers at the bottom of the hill.

The only way out is through.

But for now, I’ll be here.

At the bottom of this hill.

Photo (Flickr CC) by DanScape Photography

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Natalie Shaw
Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Natalie spent her college years at the impossibly idyllic Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio where she studied International Studies, Environmental Studies, and floating down rivers in inflatable tubes. After being forced to graduate in 2009, she hopped around the country for a few years, grooming wildly expensive horses in New Jersey for Olympic equestrian Anne Kursinski, yelling at puppies at a dog daycare back in Omaha, and playing corporate lackey for one long year at a real estate information company in Washington, D.C. She landed back in Omaha in the fall of 2011 and is working hard to cure her wanderlust. Natalie now lives and works at a horse boarding facility just north of Omaha with her cat Obie, 60 horses, and approximately 1,000 wild turkeys.
Natalie Shaw

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