STRENGTH FOR THE JOURNEY
Wow- it was quite a trip! My recent vacation opened my eyes to many things…not only to the magnificent Rocky Mountains but the magnificent people who helped me get there. Most of them were complete strangers.
Not only was it a journey to a different place in the mountains but also a different place within me. Both locations were, at times, somewhat scary but very interesting.
The Great Old Broads have Style
In our hot NC summers, I like to go to somewhere cool so when I read about the Great Old Broads for the Wilderness trip to The Colorado Rockies, I was delighted. I could reconnect with an old friend in Denver and then camp out with the “Broads”. And be part of this amazing group dedicated to environmental causes as well as having fun. ”Libations for Happy Hour” were listed in instructions on what to bring….my kind of camping.
Those people are “Strangers”
The logistics of getting from Denver to the camp- 300+ miles away and getting gear across the country and other considerations seemed daunting but I kept thinking that somehow it could be done. I didn’t have a clue as to how.
Before I left, several people said ‘ “But you will be around strangers- you don’t know anyone in that group”. Little did I realize that this was a great advantage!
Exploring the Ins & Outs of Travel
I did find that one of the gifts of travel is to explore different places, including the ones you carry around inside of you.
Faking my strong woman act came young. I was raised to be very self-sufficient and take care of things myself. Early I learned to say the “Everything is just fine” line with the fake smile plastered on. And while this early training has been useful in many ways, it has also sometimes kept me from being truthful about what I was feeling and, of course, seldom asking for help. Sometimes, this has caused me to feel isolated and weary as I had to do it all myself.
The Kindness of Strangers
But on this trip, I truly began to learn to “rely on the kindness of strangers” because that was all that was around me. I had to ask for help regularly. And I also found that, just telling the truth about how I was feeling opened up vast amounts of support that I didn’t even know I wanted but loved having. And it connected me in very powerful ways.
The list of gifts, support & fun from folks I didn’t know is very long and I am very grateful for it all. The generosity still astounds me. From open arms hospitality from some one I had not seen in 15 years, to “taxi” service all over Denver, to a 600-mile ride, a hot shower and a stay in a luxury trailer, I was beautifully taken care of.
It’s Blowing In the Wind
But the best gift was how this trip showed me a part of myself that needed to be “blown away ” by the mountain wind. It was time to let go of an old, worn out way of being.
It was time to give up the “I can do it myself ” act and leave it like a pair of hiking boots that don’t fit any more. I”m trading them in for support, comfort & a new style. The sense of freedom is as intoxicating as the mountain views.
It only took a 3000-mile trip for me to find out that sharing my journey is all it takes to turn strangers into friends. I’m never alone because strangers are everywhere.
Sometimes I’m a little slow…but I do finally get there.
Broads Help Each Other Cross a Stream