Dawn’s Synchronicity….

“Synchronicity: A meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved.” ~ Carl Jung

A Facebook friend recently posted about a “co-incidental” happening the other day … a hat, a man, a long and meaning conversation that never would have happened, had she not quickly grabbed that particular cap on her way out of the house. As I laid awake that night, just hours after a telephone deposition, mind swimming once again through the difficult and detailed reiteration of events from two years ago … a forgotten memory of the moments leading up to my being on that fateful bus moved forward in my mind. You see, that bus – the one that played such a devastating part in that day’s tragedy and basically catapulted me into this journey – was not the bus I usually rode. I, for all intents and purposes, should not have been on it…

A chilly dawn inched over the edges of the horizon that snowy January morning, as I drove the familiar route to the park-and-ride. I always enjoyed the half-hour trip … it was a quiet time before the busy demands and rambunctiousness of the day, and per my normal routine, I casually sipped fresh coffee from an old Starbucks mug. As I deliberately wound my way through the narrow streets of Ithaca something caught my attention, moving off to my left, and unsure if my eyes were playing a trick on me, I slowed to a stop. Adjusting my vision to the dim early light, I realized that standing between two parked cars – and no more than 5′ from my car door – was one of the most impressive and beautiful does I’d ever seen. I cautiously rolled down the window, fearing I’d frighten her off … but she just stood there. Not a muscle or twitch of her brow belied her sense of ease, and our eyes met. Though only a handful of seconds – less than a minute’s worth – we stared at each other for what felt like an eternity, until something deep inside compelled me … and I asked aloud, “What? What is it?” She said nothing. Yes, I know .. but, silly as it may seem, I asked again. There was a message, that I knew: Somehow, someway … she was there for me, and for a reason. A flicker suddenly danced in my rearview mirror – another car making it’s way up the road – and I softly said, “I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go….” I rolled up the window and continued on my way, something still niggling inside, wondering what had just happened.

A few minutes later as I turned into the parking lot, I watched a bus … my bus … the same one I’d caught every workday for three years … pull away from the curb and make its turn around the corner. I’d missed it by just seconds. Flashing my lights I hoped he would stop, but it was no use. He continued on toward the University, and I would have to wait to catch the next one … a bus that was about to change so many lives forever.

Few days go by that I don’t think about, or wonder where my life would be if I had not stopped for those brief moments that morning. So very much has changed … so much of the “who I am” has changed … in these last 22 months because of those few seconds. I have seen incredible things and met incredible people; I have journeyed more miles in the two years than I had in all of the 60 before; I have learned, I have grown, I have deepened and expanded. My spirit has traveled to and touched the veil of time, and it has sat silent in the desert with the shadows of those long past; my eyes have witnessed a kaleidoscope of colors with every step and every sound; my heart has been filled to overflowing with joy, and it has been broken into bottomless hollows. My physical, financial, emotional and psychological reserves have been burned through, and I’ve been exhausted in more ways than I knew possible. And yet in the profound paradox of all that is, in that one moment that began it all, my life was gifted with riches beyond any measure of exhaustion or pain.

A momentary stop. A :30 second conversation with an out-of-place deer at dawn. A synchronistic series of events. Life. Death. And all the wonderfully amazing moments in between.

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The Process….

“We are no longer frightened children trying to find our way in the dark. We are adventurous souls, creating magical paths, taking risks, sometimes falling short, and still bravely stepping into the unknown with a sense of hope and purpose surrounded by love and light.” (unknown)

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Almost two years ago, I used this quote when I first wrote on Facebook about laying the groundwork for what became known as “The Ride.” And now, as I prepare for the journey back to NY State, I find it is yet still so very appropriate. Soon, all I own will once again be piled into the little Silver Backpack, my sweet workhorse of a Subaru, and I will find myself stepping into a state of déjà vu as I back out of a driveway and begin another journey. The trip itself will take a couple of weeks, as I have a few short stays with old and new friends scheduled, and it will again take me to places I’ve never been. I confess, I did not think I would return east … I thought perhaps I’d stay somewhere in theimg_2309-shadow-in-the-desert-copy west; and I confess there is much about this land of endless sky, jagged peaks and smooth red rock, pinyon and sage and juniper that I will miss … but recent events tell me I am to go home. I return not the same person I was when I left – I am not even as I was just a few months ago. And sometimes I catch myself asking: Was all a dream? Like the ‘Ride’ and life itself, so much is unknown … where I’ll “land”, or live, and what I’ll do for work, I have no idea. It will be – like the original journey – a passage in faith. But is not all of Life so? Do any one of us know what the next moment will bring? One of the many things I have learned on my travels is that we are all truly brave in our own way … we all step courageously into each new day, breathing life into our dreams and hopes. Without a doubt, this is what our lives are about … journeying with love as our guide, trusting the heart of our creation to accompany us into the newness of tomorrow. February, in many ancient indigenous cultures worldwide, is joyously celebrated as the beginning of spring … the renewal of the earth and the life that comes forth from it. And so, as I begin the process once again of rebirthing to a new journey, I say simply: May it be so. May it indeed be so.

To Make a Difference

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“As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.”
~ Paul Shane Spear

Two years ago, I posted (on my personal Facebook page) the above photo and commented that I knew big changes were coming … I didn’t know what or how, but I knew. A handful of weeks later, the bus I was riding on hit and killed a woman; I sat in the snow holding her hand as she silently moved on, and I knew in my heart that life would never again be the same for me. I left Upstate NY just 5 months later, and began this adventure … a horrible tragedy converted into the spark for what became known as “The Ride.”

Last week I uploaded a new banner to that Facebook page … my shoe once again by running waters, this time perched on a rock, and quoted Lao Tzu: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” I wrote that I was standing at the river of time, ready to cross into 2017. In my heart I knew, once again, that something was going to change … but little did I know that a life-altering moment laid just around the corner.anne-christine-always-remember

Five days later, on New Year’s eve day, I woke up to learn that the body of a beautiful woman – a mother of two and daughter of a friend of mine – was found murdered … her body wrapped in plastic, in the garage of her abusive ex-husband’s. She had been missing for three weeks. As an adult survivor of childhood abuse and knowing full-well the terrifying and helpless fear of the next blow, this tragedy has reached up from the depths and grabbed me by the throat. As I sit writing this, I find myself still in a daze, heart aching beyond words … and feeling helpless once again.

It is time to stop the impotence.

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