Sunday, October 08, 2006

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Isn't downtown pretty?
I am so grateful for my vacation...while there have been moments of anxiety (like getting a crazy flu bug for 6 hours), I am overwhelmed by this trip. Let me tell you a little bit more about my trip...

When I arrive on Thursday, I got to my hotel and dropped off my bags and headed towards the market. Why would anyone shop any place but the market is beyond me. Fresh flowers, fresh fruit, fresh fish...it was beautiful. I grabbed lunch and sat at the pier. Staring at the bay was, for the first time in a while, that I felt the freedom to simply stare off into the distance. I decided that since I was on vacation, taking a nap wasn't a bad thing. So I headed back to the hotel for a nap. I climbed into bed, a little chilly, but figured the blankets would help. An hour later, I realized something was drastically wrong. I was freezing, but my ears were on fire. I could not stop shaking. Crazy enough, 10 minutes later I was on fire. I had a freakish flu. It took me 25 minutes to walk from my hotel half a block to buy 2 bottles of Sprite, some saltines, chicken noodle soup and a bottle of water. And of course, every sick person's friend...Nyquil. And by Friday morning, I was fine.

Friday, I went to the Experience Music Project. I loved it. I learned how to play the drums, learned a ton about Jimi Hendrix and felt like I was in my element. It is remarkable to me how much I love music. I have no idea where it came from but I love to be surrounded by it. I went to lunch at a quaint little restaurant on the bay and had a delicious crab sandwich...and then a beautiful moment.

Friday night. I was fortunate to have dinner with 2 people I am crazy for, Erik and Toby. These are two of the men I was able to do 3 years of my life with. Having them in my small group for the 3 years I was at Willow was a blessing and while I sat across from them at dinner on Saturday night, I realized I felt at home. Home, where no one questions you, where you are allowed to be yourself, where you can simply show up...that's where I was. And I loved it. While I have had real conversations in the last year in Denver, I felt like for the first time in a long time, I had a truth-filled conversation. One where everyone shared openly, not because they had to, but because they wanted to, because they felt the freedom to share. It felt like a piece of my soul was handed back to me and reminded me of the gift I was given for three years. And I am grateful. I am grateful for sitting across from them and being heard...truly heard. I feel like only a few in Denver actually hear me. I am grateful for Erik's constantly thinking mind, of incorporating theology into my story and for Toby's compassion and understanding that can only come from knowing where I have been.

The amazing thing I took out of this dinner was my increased desire to know and be known. I want to ask better questions, listen better, love deeper and care more...to everyone, not just the people who I spend the most time with (and them as well).

On Saturday, I awoke late...8:00 am and got ready for the day. I headed down toward my friend Chad's Starbucks. Oh Chad...I love his friendship to me and I've missed it over the last year. Now the creepy man mustache, that should go. I took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island and then turned around and took it straight back to Seattle. I didn't want to stay...All I wanted was the hour and a half to simply stare into the bay. I would have kept staring at it all day. I instead walked around downtown, looking into unique stores for clothes I couldn't afford and accessories I really didn't want. I came back to my hotel to rest...it's my vacation, I can do whatever I want. That night, I treated myself to one of the best dinners I have had in a really long time. The Metropolitan Grill offered me Prime Rib, a Baked Potato, and some damn good wine. For the first time ever doing dinner by myself in a fancy restaurant, it was well worth it. So tasty, so relaxed and overall, delightful. I then went to the O Lounge to meet back up with Chad (considering about 20 minutes after I left his store, someone got shot and killed outside of his store, he needed to start drinking as quickly as possible). After drinking some gin and tonics and dancing to 80's music, we finally left. Chad and I decided that doing breakfast on Sunday was the best option considering we didn't really get to talk on Saturday night. After what seemed like a long cab ride home (I've gotten really good at hailing them this trip), I finally made it back to the hotel, with the hopes of seeing Chad in the morning.

Then Sunday came and I flew home. With no breakfast with Chad (I think he was recovering from the night before), I got to the Seattle Airport and just people-watched. The clouds of Seattle saw me out just like they had seen me in. And while I decided that living in Seattle isn't for me right now, what I realized is so many things on this trip. I re-evaluated my values, I saw what I once had was beautiful and that it can be recreated the moment people I love and who love me sit down, and realized that the choices I have made in the last couple of months are what is best for me. I gave myself the space to simply be me, to hear from the Trinity and to enjoy the space again.

I'm grateful to be back, to realize that I need more times like this with people I love and with myself. Maybe Tiff and I can meet somewhere for a long weekend...that would be amazing. But overall, the last 4 days were amazing, and I wouldn't trade them for the world.

PS-If you click on the picture, you can see the rest of my pictures from the trip.

1 comment:

Ms. Warren said...

Oh my friend, when I finished reading about your vacation, I had goose bumps. Your soul is filled with an incredibly enormous amount of beauty, I love it when my heart is touched by it! So thankful that you had such a wonderful time in Seattle!