When I started this journey, I had many goals in mind … various ideas, thoughts and dreams of what I hoped would happen. The last dozen years or so had been very difficult … broken relationships, moves for jobs that didn’t fit or were the “worst-of-the-worst” – landing me in places I didn’t like or want to be. I’d even found myself homeless for a short time, following the abrupt dissolution of yet another job. Though I’d found a solid internal grounding, the battle had left me drained and feeling far from the “me” I knew only a handful of years before. One of the goals I envisioned was to see if it was possible to return to that person … the girl who believed in the goodness of people and danced with the innocence of discovery. The time spent last week among the soft Adirondack pines & majestic rocky peaks brought it all back to me, once again. It is said there is a healing spirit there, and of that I have no doubt … not only is it the mountain air – which gave birth to hundreds of tuberculosis sanatoriums years ago – but also the people … the loving, giving spirit of the people who call that area home.
A turn of events had me surprising my hostess by arriving several days early … and was promptly invited to her college class reunion: A class reunion among people I’d never met, at a school I’d never gone to, and was given a bed in a dormitory room with a couple of her college mates … while she went home that night. I was welcomed with open arms, given food and drink; I danced and laughed into the late hours with classmates; I was taught the history of the college, happily taken on tours and given directions of where to walk the trails and sit by the lakes. The next morning, a classmate offered a private room in her home, meals, laundry, conversation, nights of quiet time and a fluffy cat who slept at my side, so reminding me of my late Annabelle.
A few days later it was time to leave, and as I hugged both Martha, and Mel, I knew I’d begun to find the healing I so sorely needed. That afternoon I drove 125 miles to the far western edge of the Adirondacks to spend one final night alone in a cabin among those beloved mountains and pines. And now, as I head for a stop where I last felt that innocence, my heart soars and my eyes fill with tears … it has indeed returned.