In order for you to understand my story, you’ll need to read about how it all started. I could tell you, in my words and phrases, but it’s already been captured with the perfect words, the perfect phrases. So, go here: Trish’s Blog, and read about how it all came to pass.
What do you think? Crazy, huh? Traveling across the state lines, in a car with people I’ve never traveled with before (save Trish. We travel well together.) With people that I’ve never spent more than an evening or an afternoon with, actually, certainly not as a group. Forging our way out from under the Heat Dome, to meet another group of people we had never met.
Yet, we knew them. I knew them. We knew each other, deeply and profoundly. In my heart, I knew one in particular. We’ve texted each other and emailed singularly and in group mailings for a year now. I knew that she was a sister of my soul. The other girls, I was intrigued and excited to meet. I didn’t know as much about them, but I knew enough to know I wanted more! Oh how I would come to love them, all of them.
As we drove into New Mexico, we saw the temperature begin to drop. We felt the altitude change. There was an energy in the car, buzzing. Each of us has our own experience, so I won’t speak for any other than mine. I wasn’t scared, or nervous really. Mostly excited. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t like anyone, or that they wouldn’t like me. I felt it in my bones that we were approaching something magical. There was about to be a merging of some really amazing personalities, and whether it was like Macy’s NYC Fourth of July Extravaganza…or San Diego’s Flop, it was going to be bright and memorable.
That and so much more.
These women that we had never seen face to face, never smelled or touched or hugged, were just as they should be. Generous. Hysterical. Caustic. Shy. Gentle. Caring. Bawdy. Open. Loving. Beautiful.
For me, it was the final piece of the puzzle.
I’ve been waiting for you. My whole life, I’ve been waiting. All is as it should be.
I’ve never been one to hold in my feelings. Except the ragey parts of me that stay tucked away, I learned a long time ago that I could either swallow and bury the emotion, or release it and make room for more. It is just the way I am made, and I’ve accepted it. It’s probably unnerving to strangers, to see me burst into tears, then laughter, then just try to stop the flow leaking from my face. I have no idea why no one has attempted to admit me into the nervous hospital. Maybe they can sense that it’s ok. All is as it should be.
There was many a tear leaking from my eyes last week.
Taking it all in, the grace of it all, and the route we took to get there. What if? What if we had never which meant we would have never, which would have never let us know, which would have never lead us here…
All is as it should be.
I’ve been asked, “what did you DO?”
Well, some of us shopped. Some of us rafted the Rio Grande. Some played backgammon. I did bang some hair. Some of us cooked…seriously it was like a scene from “Like Water For Chocolate”…you could taste the love in each bite.
Mostly, though, we talked. We talked and talked and talked and talked.
From heart break, to family, to love lost, to favorite recipes and personal triumphs, to favorite YouTube videos and dancing goats…we covered it. I came away knowing more about each of us than I did before the trip. Making connections that will forever bind us together.
And it was all too short.
Anyone that knows me, knows I hate goodbyes. From the time I was just a little girl, I would cry…CRY huge wailing tears when I would leave. Anyone. I’m crying now typing this. I remember being about 5 or 6 and asking my dad to just…just BUILD us a house big enough for everyone I love, and we’ll never have to say goodbye again. So when the time came, in the afternoon in the middle of Taos, to go our separate ways, I tried to hold it together. And I’m pretty proud of myself. There was no wailing. No uh-huh-huh-ing trying to get my breath. It was Au Revoir-o-till-next-time-o-chick-a-lingas! And we were off.
In the days past, readjusting to life under the Heat Dome, processing the thing we just experienced, I’ve come to understand two things.
One: I know now, why I wasn’t really nervous. I’ve done this before. I’ve traveled miles and miles to live with strangers. That’s how I met Kizz. Only in those experiences, we hadn’t been each others sounding board for a year previous. It was a Yahtzee, buckle up, herewego, kind of thing. Not always pleasant, but sometimes magical. So, this experience was in my wheelhouse already.
Two: For a moment there, my wish was realized. I was in a house, full of people that I loved and that loved me back. There was beauty all around us, and even in the smallest detail, there was grace. What a lucky, lucky girl I am to have the opportunity to fully experience it, to realize it and to know that,
all is as it should be.
**All photos taken by, and belong to Trisha Boonshay, Documentarian Extraordinaire.