I was finishing up stuff for work a few days ago, so much was running through my mind. We still needed to pack, tie up loose ends with bills for the next two months…I was also in the midst of conversation with Brian, as all this craziness swirled through my head. We were sitting at the dining table, when this picture came to my mind. It felt like I was transported out of the here and now, and I was in this unexpected picture. After we worked with roofing contractors rocky mount nc on our house repair, I quickly went to their house.
The picture was of a familiar beach front in Thailand. I was on a long tail boat headed to shore. There was a woman standing on the beach. She waved out to me. Her smile was big and free. I jumped to my feet when I saw her. It had been so long since I’d had time with her. I held on to the side of the long tail and waved back. And then as I sat back down, I felt a sense of shame come over me. I wanted to suddenly shrink within. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make eye contact when I stood in front of the woman. I felt like I had failed her.
And then the picture took me to her. I was standing in front of her. Her hair was hanging in loose curls around her face. Her face had been kissed by the sun days and weeks over. Her eyes were alive and full of love. The woman was me.
She was the woman I found last year in the jungles of Thailand. She was the part of me that holds so much love for me—so much that I never knew it was possible to feel so comfortable with myself—so gracious and uncritical. And when it was time for us to return to the states, I grieved leaving her. I felt like I had only discovered her—how would her face not fade me after months had gone by?
When I saw her in this picture, she looked at me with an open smile. And there wasn’t a critical thought in her mind toward me. She embraced me, held me, and as I sat at the dining table in my Seattle home I started to cry. Brian became quiet having no idea what had happened. And yet, I think he sensed the moment was an unexpected holy moment. I cried as I pictured this woman holding me, despite all the ways I feel like I have come short these last couple months. She held me and smiled through her own tears because she knew that I was home to heal. I had come back to heal and be renewed—that my tank has been empty for longer than I want to admit…and she had no criticism for this—just joy to have me home. I held on to this picture as we frantically packed the other day. I thought of it in the clouds as we fly for hours on end.
A few hours ago, we stepped off the plane in Bangkok. We’ve flown 17 hours and have one flight and boat ride left. I walked off the plane into the thick, humid air of Thailand and felt the air itself wrap around me. I had to stand and take it in. Something deep inside me responded to the thick humid air, and I felt embraced—surrounded.
I’m not sure what it is but a shift is happening in my spirit, my heart. We are here for almost two months, and I know that I won’t need to seek out this shift. It seems to be waiting for me, waiting on the beachfront, waiting for me to discover it with every step. What more could one want for her birthday, but to feel like she has come home to herself.
Thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes, the beautiful emails and words, thank you for holding us in your arms of support. I’m excited to have you journey with me over the next seven weeks as I process my time with her on this blog. I am excited to reacquaint myself with a woman that I have much respect for. I am excited to learn from her, be quiet with her, and find a way to bring more of her home. I am excited to redisover how to sit with myself and not feel like the self critic is overbearing. I am not just excited, I am also scared. But, but…I am so ready.
p.s. One other amazing birthday gift that was unexpected…to have SOARORITY go live and see you all enjoying it so much! Every time we land and have a couple hours to wait for the next flight, I’ve had a blast seeing more and more of you ladies on there! Yeah-yeah-yeah!