life is just this crazy meal of beauty and pain. over the past two weeks i have taken the the bitterest and the sweetest bite–the most unconventional cures, the most unexpected blows.
in california i was reminded what it feels like to just be a girl–away from my roles, playing all day. eating nothing but organic veggies, kombucha, fresh-pressed juice, wine, and $4 happy-hour tacos full of fish like butter.
i hiked miles in clear bright and quiet, the hazy blue sea as still as the clouds. i paddled on a surf board, felt an addicting surge of nervousness at the ocean’s pull, poured a jug of sun-warmed water over myself to rinse salty hair and skin after. (laughing when i realized you get naked in the parking lot to get into your wetsuit, then putting it on backwards and having to get naked again.) driving a bumpy dirt road far into the mountains to sit in hot springs under the moon, the only sound in the bowl of quiet hills bullfrogs, and our soft voices over the steam…
crying the same chemistry of tears with another angel mama, skipping over everything to the place we share. starting a friendship already friends.
a taste of paradise and a reminder that it’s all so complicated, that perfection is impossible even in the most perfect places, with the must perfect food and scenery and yoga studios and people. that our stories will never be neatly tied up–that we breathe in deeply the peaceful and beautiful gifts of life before we’re plunged back under. before we arrive home to dark airport parking lots, our cars under a foot of snow–cold, sickness, conflict. reality for all its good and hard.
the hot springs soothed and healed the winter cracks on my hands–even still, after a week of being back. my hair was never softer than that night, the entire trip a balm of bright and warm and this spark of getting a chance to be as young as i am. to laugh non-stop, out late dancing with peruvians–sweaty hair lifted off my neck, fingers tingling up my scalp. feeling happy–yes, happy! craving to touch my boys at home, missing them, reaching out to them from a reciprocal and warmed soul when i returned.
i love the picture above, me on the edge of the hot springs, because i feel like it encapsulates my beautiful trip. the soul shift i felt, and am still finding the words for: i am still me, still hungry for life, still a woman who wants to love and be loved. no person in church nor therapist in an office can prescribe the exact regimen to heal me because paradise isn’t here on earth, but yet in those tastes of it–the lush beauty and rushing life that i crave–i feel the divine draw of a Designer who can heal, who could create the kind of eternity i’m interested in. entrust my daughter to. i am ready to look at my life with clearer eyes, to plunge back into this weariest work of grief. to think about why i’ve connected with the incredible people i have, the gift each human connection is if i stop to ponder it…what good can be done together, as a result.
on i go, into my life. feeling like i’ve tasted too much for my age. winter still here, messy work to be done–drawing on both memories and moments of warmth until spring comes back to me.
to the donor of my plane tickets: you truly have no idea how thankful i am, from the bottom of my heart.