I have written , indirectly, before about my trip down the Pacific coast and the Angels that traveled with me. The random assembly of kindred spirits amazes me every time I think about it. My own participation was last minute and now I understand, destiny. It was a job but it became so much more within the first moments of landing in Seattle, Washington. I had wanted to see the Pacific Northwest for a very long time and when this opportunity presented itself, I contemplated only briefly before saying yes. I arrived before the rest of the group as planned so that I could help with the logistics of the scheduled 10 day trip. The rest of the participants would trickle in over the next day, along with an entourage of photographers, social media recorders, schedulers and publicists. It was a fund-raising ride to raise money for AIDs and HIV research. There were some celebrities who were on the ride to increase awareness of the ride. My pre conceived idea was that this would include a bunch of pampered rider wannabes who would more than likely present more risks than necessary. The safety instructor geek in me was prepared to take over the riding when it was technically too difficult for the babies. Over the next week and some days I would be proved shamelessly wrong. These riders came with all of the skill and adventure needed for this adventure. They showed UP! At first I was intentionally staying out of their way. I didn’t want them to think I just wanted to be around their celebrity. I could only imagine how much they wanted to be away from people trying to close in on them and simply enjoy the camaraderie of a great ride.
It was the second night of the trip that I was invited to join the table. The riders on this trip invited me, encouraged me to sit with them. I remember feeling a little giddy, like the first time I got to sit at the grown up table. I instantly had access to their crazy, their foolery and their camaraderie. I started to fall in platonic love with these guys who had thousands of fans but invited me into their circle of friends. They shared their jokes and concerns with me. As far as I know, I had done nothing to earn this except volunteer for and be accepted for this opportunity. Even now I shake my head. But the universe knew what I needed and I needed to feel love. And this group of men and women showed me an abundance of love and continue to do so.
I didn’t realize at the time just how miraculous those moments were. There was too much happening to really soak all of it in. Too much to understand the importance of it all. But it continues to unveil itself and so I just eagerly wait for the next series of moments to which I am gifted. They were and continue to be the halcyon days of my life.
It is difficult to explain depth of to all. On the very surface it was access to some of the most amazing scenery and landscape I had ever encountered. My fellow traveler and good friend Joel and I would joke about how long we could go with only using single syllables to communicate. Wow, Ohhh, Ahhhhh were the communication tools we used for the majority of the trip. It was really the best we could do considering the extravagant beauty aground us at every turn. And that was only the surface beauty. The real beauty was in the moments in between. In between the riding when the boys stopped to roll dow the dunes, breaking the schedule and a shoulder bone or two. At the lunch stops and the dinners and the evenings after the rides spent connecting unsuspecting lives. Now THAT was beauty. What could we possibly have in common? This thing….Life and the desire to live it fully and authentically. We are warriors in the world. Adventurers. And they, they are ANGELS. Real live, walk among us angels.
I have written of them before but as I write again, I am struck with the realization that these strangers turned out to be my family and this trip along the coast was just a family reunion.
And I wonder….How many people are as blessed as I? To have a biological family that is wonderful and to find your bigger world family? I can only hope that everyone is as lucky. The universe revealed itself to me that at summer and challenged me to be bigger, better. I am resigned to live out my days trying. So just for tonight I will be bigger, I will be better!