there is something magical, to me, in sharing time and experiences with the ones i love. this past week, the little lady and i put in over 2,000 miles in a road trip full of small and big moments of absolute magic with nature, friends, and family. we returned home tonight, and as i reflect on our trip, i am reeling in all the memories created and the lessons i learned on the road this week.
* the windows rolled down, feeling the wind, smelling the air. blaring the music and singing. there is something so freeing about experiencing an open road in this way, full of possibilities.
* stopping and taking pictures when we felt moved. it was worth the extra few minutes.
* feeling frustrated that my camera is broken again, and realizing it’s not that big of a deal. an iphone can capture memories too.
* accepting offers from people who asked for us to stay at their home, even when i thought we would be an inconvenience. seeing people in their own little environment is insight into how they live their life.
* being with tim and laurie and all their animals, and watching coco experience a night on a beautiful farm. her curiousness and awe in these surroundings was beyond heart warming.
* stopping in ann arbor for red velvet cake, and walking around downtown, holding hands and enjoying a city neither of us had been.
* taking a deep breath when we had almost arrived to our michigan destination, seeing the dead end sign, and being damn grateful for the people that awaited us at the end of the road.
* seeing coco and rowan easily immerse themselves into each other’s space. realizing that at 8 years old, they already recognize that valuing friendship creates the bright and bold colors woven into the fabric of a happy life.
* being reminded of the role that kelsey and heather play in my life. confidants. mentors. sources of strength. incredible friends. beyond all of that though, they are family.
* feeling empowered to share my personal and professional goals with people that support me as well as challenge me to think more critically.
* creating a project of sorts with kelsey to engage our children in a curriculum that will involve them staying connected through learning (and skype).
* running with heather, which is a time when she and i can be alone. feeling full from the conversation and productive from the physical activity.
* meeting family members, sharing meals, and settling into their space through good conversation and laughter.
* reading part of my favorite book out loud. and seeing how her words affect others in the same way they do to me.
* paddling down the flat river as the day and soaking in the sights and sounds on the water as the day winded down.
* witnessing the raw emotion of gratitude when a gift i gave was opened.
* taking some time for myself, on a solo run, on a dirt road through farmland. feeling grateful to be connected to this place, and realizing what i was missing.
* walking down a long flight of stairs behind an abandoned house to the water, sitting with my feet dangling over the side, taking comfort being by my friend’s side as we chew on life’s latest twists and turns together.
* running through corn fields with two 8 years olds. seeing this space through their eyes, full of wonder and awe.
* saying good bye to kelsey, heather, and rowan in the early morning hours. driving away, eyes brimming with tears and hearts filled with love. watching the sun rise over the corn fields and saying hello to a brand new day.
* coco setting up her tent in new york for the last night of our trip because she wanted to sleep outside.
* picking apart pistachio nuts on sue’s front porch. and recognizing my feelings of contentment and happiness in the most simplistic of activities.
* late night bonfire and champagne. and perhaps some barbados rum.
* walking around a contemplative retreat center, a former monastery, overlooking the hudson river. slowly working my way through a labryinth. picking lavender and smelling it in the car for hours afterwards.
* lunch outside at a little cafe in beacon, new york. oh, the grape leaves. they are reason enough for a return trip soon.
* concluding our trip with yummy ice cream pops that dripped all over my shirt.
* hearing overwhelming statements of gratitude from everyone we saw, thanking us for sharing time with them.
* being reminded that my daily priority of nourishing relationships has an impact on others. knowing that the more i breathe life into them, the more i get out of these bonds. and being completely overwhelmed by our loved ones desire to tackle life in similarly bold ways.
“the best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.” ~ cheryl strayed