I haven’t warmed up yet. I’m still chilled to the bone from standing around in the freezing cold night with other witnesses, all of us incredulous, shocked, horrified, wondering, hoping…hoping…so very hoping…and because my statement has yet to be taken, my phone has been zipping and binging and driving me mad all evening as I’ve waited for a phonecall that didn’t come. And because my statement has yet to be taken, I need to be careful what I say.
Someone else isn’t though. And another set of someones have experienced something which might change their worlds forever. And those of us who saw it, well…we will have to bear those memories.
On the plus side, and the thing I want to focus on; I heard a wonderful, WONDERFUL story tonight, of a maybe miracle – a very beloved friend of mine was in a horrid car accident in her youth. She told me that when she had been amidst the aftermath, badly injured, she very clearly heard a woman’s voice telling her to hang on, to stay awake, to not sleep. She survived the crash. But no-one knew anything about the mysterious woman whose voice had helped her through.
I’m endlessly thankful though, to this unknown entity who may or may not have been present, this angel of hope and encouragement who made all the difference in those dark moments, because this evening, I really needed to hear that there truly are maybe miracles in this world – that unexplainable good does happen. That people live.
And because she lived (seamless segue, did you notice?), it meant my beloved friend was ALIVE and very much able to meet me whilst I was in the USofA last week. Not only did we meet, but we FLEW. For real. Hand in hand, across some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever laid eyes on. It was magical. We may have screamed (quite a lot), but when we heard the vampire’s hiss of the air-brake on the zipline, we immediately knew we wanted to have a go, and our daredevilry was inevitable from that point onwards.
It was a day of perfect moments strung together with delightful bits and happiness in between. There were castles with narrow twisty stairways and dark, dank rooms to be explored, and battlements to look out from. There were viewpoints (alarmingly unbarriered, to my very ‘Health & Safetyfied’ mind) which stopped us in our tracks as we drank in the incredible vistas before us, of tumbling sapphire waters and turning autumn trees.There were a number of caves to discover, which prompted a number of off-colour (very entertaining) jokes about showing each other our ‘holes’…
There were three of us, all very dear to each others’ hearts, and an additional driver, who knew more about the park than the guide leaflets we were given. There was a picnic. There were surprise gifts and shouts of joy and amazement. There was sunshine. There was a little rain. There were inquisitive wasps. There were *exquisite* hand-crafted treasures. There were huge, enormous smiles and big hugs. And there was the zipline, which we all took a turn on, in spite of anxieties, and we all completely ROCKED the whole ‘flying across a canyon at top speed, strapped to a tiny seat. There was so, SO much happiness in just spending time together, really for real in each others’ company, and it’s a day of memories I shall keep stored up in my heart for a long, long time.
My biggest thankful of the day was being able to borrow a car and successfully navigate my way two hours down the interstate to FIND said park where we all met. Google maps got me there, after some diligent checking of the route the night before, and during the journey I shored myself up with a lot of self-affirming talk that I was in the right place, going in the right direction. And I did it! It enabled all the other wonderfulness.
Then there was the week itself, spent with a friend who I think might be the other half of my heart, or the other side of my self…or something. There were many comfy cosy moments of quietness and just being, which were pretty close to perfect. I felt as ‘at home’ with her as I do with my family – absolutely and completely accepted and loved, no matter what, and having experienced very much the opposite of that, I absolutely CHERISH that kind of environment.
I got to experience Thanksgiving IN AMERICA! I watched the Macy’s parade, I squealed with joy to see a video of my beloved ‘Little Dude’ at his Bar Mitzvah. I sent and received glitterbombs. I navigated Big Surprises and small everydays. I cooked vegan food. I ran around a beautiful little lake. I got pestered by the dog. I slept. I helped do puzzles (which I never do, because they annoy me, but that’s apparently part of the appeal!) I existed in a glorious haze of happiness and mostly managed to not think about the return to real life and upcoming challenges. I made plans for next time I come over. And the time after that. And the time after that! I saw Christmas lights. I helped decorate for Christmas. I loved, loved, LOVED it.
I flew. Admittedly in planes. But the journeys seemed shorter this time, and my ability to manage the transfer from one side of the world to the other seems to be improving, which is just as well, as another thing I got last week was HOPE, that all may not be lost on the student visa front, that there may be other possibilities to explore, and that the college director does very much want me to take up my scholarship there, and so I am DELIGHTED I was able to go see him and establish all this.
I was happy.
For anyone who’s known me more than a little while, that’s something I wasn’t sure I would have, and it is, and it’s lovely and I wish I could share it with you all, that feeling. I wish I could tell you how gloriously uplifting it is, like being the bubbles in champagne, or the hot air balloon swelling and rising into the perfect stillness of dawn. It’s amazing, and I’m treasuring each moment I get to keep it or remember it, or hearken back to it.
Elsewhere though, I have loved seeing all the determined positivity, support, encouragement, empathy, compassion, and caring, which has been shown off across social media and through the lives of my friends. I’ve been so pleased to see communities of like-minded people forming connections as they seek to embetter the world through kind actions. I even arrived home to a lovely card reminding me that we HAVE that community already, right here, and that it’s small but determined, and full of thankfulness. I have found something every day to gladden my heart and make me thankful for the people I know, and their wonderful spirits, and the things they do which really make a LOT of difference.
I am a hundred million thankful for the people in my life, who I love and cherish, and who frequently prove sources of brightshinyloveliness.
They are my miracles. YOU, my friends, are my miracles.
And there’s no ‘maybe’ about it.