The Returning…

“Coming home … all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.” ~ John Le Carre

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And indeed it is true. Welcome to “Part II” of this Ride – the return home. The sunrise, the dawning of a new day, a new life. And a new look to the blog. While the actual Ride – the 23 month sojourn across the country – is over, a new and very different kind of journey now begins. It is one that is quite different than I’d expected. And often quite surprising … many times I find myself literally “laughing out loud” or stopping to wipe away a tear. Emotions, feelings, convictions have changed. Here you’ll read about those changes and others: The many habits that made sense for (and on) the Ride that no longer do; moments that give me pause for thought as I work to rebuild my life here once again; the times when I’ve felt as if floating somewhere in a void … what was is no longer, yet what is to come has only begun to unfold. So many changes, but so much also remains unaltered. I am not the same person as when I left two years ago, and yet I am more fully myself. Yes, the sweet dichotomy of Life.

So with that brief introduction, I give you the Ride’s “new” blog … a journey into a new life. A new adventure, a new “Ride” of sorts – complete with all of the questions, the moments of hesitation and the days of excitement, the joys and the laughter. The hopes and memories. And perhaps a few tears in-between. The surviving of it all. You’ll find the old posts on a separate page now – “The Ride: April 2015 – May 2017” (tab in the header) – and you’ll see the a different banner photo from the those years every time you visit, so be sure to check back often. And don’t forget to sign up to follow me by email. You’ll find that link at the bottom of the page … it’s a good way to keep up to date with what is happening, and WordPress will only send you a single notification when I post – no other junkmail.

Thank you – ALL – once again for following along with me, both on The Ride, and now, as this new adventure begins. It has truly been an honor and a delight to have you riding shotgun, and I look forward to all that lies ahead. You know, we’re given our dreams for a reason … not to torture us, but to show us what IS possible, and we’re given the talents to make it all happen. Life is a beautiful and gracious gift, and one that is meant to be unwrapped, enjoyed, and used up. As my Father would say, “Make it so, sweetheart, make it so….”  And so I shall.

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.

Bringing Angela Home

“I came to understand the most intriguing irony of life, that the most intimate partner of life is death.” ~ Neena Verma

 

The ironies of life, the cycles of life. Indeed so very ironic that as I pack, preparing to return to the place that started “The Ride” … finally closing the almost two-year voyage that began on the heels of a tragic fatal bus accident … I get a message telling me that all who were riding on that bus are to once again be deposed or subpoenaed for testimony. I have carried Angela’s photo with me for 22 months, and I have never once forgotten that it was that moment when our eyes locked and our hands held tight as she slipped into the next journey, the next dimension in time, that changed my life forever. And today as I spoke with the attorney over the phone, answering his questions and describing in vivid detail every minute, every second, of that morning once again, I choked back tears repeatedly. Though I have done this journey – this Ride of a lifetime – for myself, in many ways I also felt that I did it for her, too. I took her with me every step of the way … every stop, every vista and view were in some ethereal way for Angela. We made new friends together, sampled new foods, and saw new places and sights we never would have, if not for each other. I felt her spirit by my side many times, even “chatting” with her on occasion. Someone said to me recently that perhaps the reason I feel a need to return to NY now is to take her home. And now tonight, as I look to where her picture sits on my dresser, I think my friend was right … it is time. Just as the beginning of this journey was not just about me, it is only fitting that it be so, too, in the end. Yes, it is time to close the circle and bring Angela back home…