Saturday, June 27, 2009

on the open road part II

June 21, 2009

It’s been eleven days since I wrote. Several times I have sat down with the intention of writing, but it’s so hard to spell out your heart in black and white when all you have seen is color and mountains and bodies of water passing you by out the passenger window. It’s hard to explain love in a language that is not embraces, smiles, or warm faces and hearts. But I will try.

Camping in Fairplay was life-changing. I knew this trip in itself would be, but I wasn’t sure in what way, or how it would come about, or who I would meet on the way and why. But as the days have passed me by the last two weeks, I have known nothing but laughter and fresh faces, new stories and mental snapshots to take with me.

I felt a sense of Utopia, an overshadowing feeling that in the midst of three hundred other people in the wilderness, I was special. I was important. And it wasn’t in a pompous way, or a conceited way, but you knew you were loved and wanted by everyone around you, and everyone wanted to know your name. There were no handshakes, there were embraces. There were no barriers or roadblocks to getting to know one another. It was like we had been on the road together the whole time to begin with.

I would wake up every morning to a community breakfast of thirty to forty people, offering blueberry pancakes, fresh fruit, eggs, bagels… it was as if nothing and everything belonged to me at the same time. People would wander into the camp, give us a hug in the morning, offer us whatever they had. It was a sense of community, togetherness and love, more so than any gathering or church service or group of friends I have ever experienced in this lifetime. There was love instead of hate. There was an overwhelming peace regardless of the storm in the world around us.

For me there were difficult moments as well as the sweet, which is to be expected with the way I bounce my heart around like a beach ball sometimes. But even in the brokenness there was something beautiful. If tears were shed, there were people that would find you, somehow, and just sit with you. No words to fill empty spaces, no false promises or superficial comfort. They would hold you, they would smile, and they would be there.

There was much that happened, so much beauty with a drop or two of pain, that I fear words won’t be enough this time. But I don’t want to forget the way that we loved for those five days. We were strangers but the closest of friends at the same time.

What I walked away with is, I’m sure, the reason I came on this trip. I walked away with a sense and a completely real awareness of myself. It was like I had been blind for so long, and the curtains opened and I realized how loved I am. How fun it is to be around me sometimes. How beautiful I am, regardless of popularity or repute. How talented I am as a musician, and how I have been wasting that gift for far too long. How I have the ability – if I use it – to draw people together and help facilitate new friendships and relationships.

I walked away being Dayna, without apologies, without doubts, without self-consciousness or fear. For the first time in a long time, I was so proud to be Dayna that I wanted to scream out loud from the rooftops, and declare that I was free. I wanted to open my arms up to this great big world and thank it for reintroducing me to my soul.

So I did.

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