It is a quiet Sunday morning as I sip my coffee on the back deck. The humidity is thick but the fog is slowly starting to lift. The weather reflects my mood as I sit here thinking of all that has happened in the past month.
I’ve been to Texas and back, said goodbye to Dad at his service, helped take care of my mother who got sick that same day, fumbled through the relationships with my sisters as we tried to figure out our sadness. I’ve juggled all the work balls that have needed to stay up in the air, kept the animals, farm and house cared for, got my butt to the gym, slipped into the saddle for some much needed therapy and have somewhat nurtured the friendships that surround me.
Looking back, it seems so exhausting. But, I don’t feel exhausted.
Losing Dad has been a really good practice in non-judgement. I’m striving to attach understanding to all that I experience instead of adding descriptive negative connotation words that don’t help in the process. For example being sad is not “bad”…it’s just sad…and experiencing it is an opportunity for understanding and learning about myself. If I assign the word bad to it, I feel that it must be avoided or changed instead of just allowed.
I find this journey similar to a rafting down a river. Sometimes there are rapids and they are hard to navigate, scary and test your skill and knowledge. I have to go with the current though because fighting it does not get me through the rapid and it does not take me further on the journey. Other times the river is calm and peaceful and my place in the water is surrounded by beauty and as I look around I am able to feel so much joy and gratitude.
I leave you with this story. I’m withholding my own thoughts as to what I believe took place. I will let you choose to decide if this was a greater other worldly experience OR if this was one big coincidence.
For my Father’s service, I drove to Texas. It’s no short trip from North Carolina to Texas. Being afraid to fly, this conveniently allowed me to avoid that illogical fear AND I craved the alone time in the car. Some hate to drive, however, I find it healing and I like it. I love having the time to process as the miles slip by in the backdrop of this beautiful country. I like having my music blaring, stopping along the way and seeing America reflected in the people at the truck stops and rest areas.
So in a week’s time I spent more than 32 hours in my vehicle. I kept my playlist on much of the time and always set to random. I like the element of surprise. I heard many songs multiple times along the way. Except one…Wide Open Spaces, by the Dixie Chicks. A song that always reminds me of my Dad. Not once did my radio belt out the lyrics to this tune of a young woman coming of age and leaving her parents to enter the world on her own.
Not once…until….I was about 20 minutes from my doorstep. Almost home! I was so looking forward to getting there after a long week away. My husband’s strong arms, my sweet puppy dog noses and the calming energy of the herd. It was a sunny day and there it was, the sound of Natalie Maines’ voice “Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about”. My first instinct was to hit the skip button until I reminded myself, it’s not bad, just allow. So the song put in a few more words and the skies opened up. I don’t know how. There were no clouds, no storms in the area. It was one of the most unusual sun showers I’ve ever seen and as the rain poured down, so did my tears. As they do, the song came to an end, just a few minutes later so did the rain and a few minutes after that I was home.