Hiking Naked


to be published in September 2017 

Iris is thrilled to announce that Hiking Naked will be published by Homebound Publications in autumn 2017. The memoir is a blend of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Thoreau’s Walden that chronicles Iris’s spiritual search for meaningful work. Burnout was only a textbook term when Iris became a registered nurse. Twenty years into her nursing career, though, her zeal wavered under the weight of the county health department’s unrelenting stream of high-risk pregnant women and communicable disease outbreaks.

When down-sizing eliminated her supervisory position, Iris was knocked off her feet.  She quit the job she’d been transferred to and convinced her husband and their thirteen-year-old twin son and daughter to move to a remote village in Washington’s North Cascades.  The community’s name, Stehekin, is a Salish word that means “the way through.”  Iris’s family sought adventure; she yearned for solitude to wrestle with doubts about the work she’d felt called to.  Along the way, she faced unexpected challenges:  a forest fire that threatened the valley, a flood that left her and her family stranded for three days, a friend’s suicide. Ultimately, Iris found there her own “way through.”

Iris’s essay, “Seeking Clearness with Work Transitions,” recounts the beginnings of her search for balance. You can read the essay or listen to Iris read it in the February 2015 issue of Friends Journal.