"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Abundance

Suzy: friend, chauffeur, host, writer, generous spirit, maker of dreams come true

When I saw an e-mail from Suzy in my inbox in October, I expected a friendly note, or a writerly exchange, but not what I actually received. It was an invitation to join her in Connecticut,where she lives, for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday. She would fly me there and put me up in a bed and breakfast and we would do whatever I wanted.

As with many of you, I find it much easier to give than receive, and especially difficult to accept such unearned generosity. But it was a chance to spend time with this amazing friend I'd only seen in person once when we met at a writing retreat four years ago. And I can't actually imagine the circumstances under which I might refuse the chance for a travel adventure. 

So I said yes. From the very first I was aware of the enormity of the gift I was receiving and the hugeness of the heart giving it. All of which made my own heart swell and my mouth curl into smiles of easy delight. Our plans were open-ended - there was a lot of talk about writing and talking about writing and just hanging out together. But a week before my departure, I received another e-mail informing me I'd be having a spa day at Kripalu

Suzy spent the weekend before our visit in a workshop with Natalie Goldberg at Kripalu. She knew how excited I was for her. She also knew Kripalu was a place I'd read about and intended to find a way to someday. She moved up my time table.

I traveled on the Friday before Thanksgiving, in the midst of all the hoorah about airport security. I'd convinced myself that being scanned was a small price to pay for the adventure and the friend waiting for me on the other side of the country. I mostly believed myself, but was relieved to discover that going through security, at least in Portland, was no more challenging than when I last flew in July. It might have been an omen, except I was determined that there were not going to be any bad events this trip - only interesting experiences.

Suzy greeted me at the Hartford airport with a great warm smile and before my passenger door was closed we were visiting as though our conversation was the continuation of one conducted over years and years of friendship. Even jet-laggy after a twelve hour day I soaked up all I could, from the drive to Branford, to our first meal at an Italian restaurant, to the incredible comfort of my room.

As she left me for the night, promising to get me in the morning in time for breakfast and our long drive to Massachusetts for my Kripalu experience, Suzy said, not for the first time, "I'm so glad you're here." And by the time I returned home the following Monday, there was not one single doubt about that.

When I woke up the next morning to clear skies and crisp air, I had no idea how much the next hours were going to change my life, or how they'd reveal the hand of a loving divinity with a sublime sense of humor. 
Queen Ann Room at By the Sea Inn, Branford, CT

There's too much to tell, too much magic to share, to try to put it all into one story. So, you'll need to be patient and come back. Next post: Kripalu Saturday. Sunday is a whole other set of wonders to be shared in yet another post.

27 comments:

Wanda..... said...

What a generous friend you have in Suzy. Anxious to hear more of your life changing experience, Deb!

Rick said...

Wait a minute- she forgot to invite the rest of us!?

#1Nana said...

I think the most exciting thing or me about reaching my senior years is the opportunity to be open to whatever experiences come my way. If I can't be adventurous now, when would I? How wonderful that you are willing to take the risk and reap the rewards. I'm looking forward to hearing about the life changing experience...way to keep us coming back for more!

Wanda said...

How exciting! I missed you...and now I am glad for the reason I did.

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh wow! I love stories like this!! I can't wait to read the rest. What an awesome friend she is:)

Suzy said...

NEHBN of what you give to others.....

Great photo of me TRYING to read the map.

I love you

Suzy

Carrie Link said...

I am tickled to read all about it! So glad it was a wonderful trip for both of you! Can't wait to read more and more and more!

love.

Barb said...

I'm still stuck on the part about a seminar with Natalie Goldberg... Does Suzy need another friend? I'm available.

Kathryn Grace said...

OMG, you can't leave us hanging like this! Tell!

And what a magnificent friend.

Lilith said...

I find it so much easier to give than to receive as well. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

What a wonderful friend you have! And yes, I'm looking forward to reading your whole story.I'm also excited about your adventures.

Anonymous said...

What a tease. When's the next installment?
chloe

LauraX said...

how AWESOME Deb!!! What an amazing friend. I live so close...only 3 hours from Kripalu, have wanted to visit for years (since the early 90's) but have never been able to afford it....WOW YOU ARE LOVED!!!! Can't wait to hear more about your adventure!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Definitely can't wait for the rest!

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh WOW! I can't wait to hear what happens next. What a great birthday weekend.!!!!

Jerri said...

Suzy is one of the world's great treasures. Of course, the two of you are friends. Of course, your time together was magical.

Can't wait to hear more. And more. And more.

M said...

What a wonderful friend...and a wonderful gift! I can't wait to read of the adventure and the wonder of it all.

Love
Mark

kario said...

Suzy is a rock star and I am so pleased that you took her up on her invitation and jetted off for an adventure. I can't wait to hear how you two spent your time!

Lorna said...

What a fabulous gift!!! The B&B photo alone looks memorable, much less your amazing friend (who looks like fun) and the Kripalu time! What did you do to reap such an amazing treat? (so we can do it too!) and, LOL Rick said it for all of us!

She Writes said...

Ohhhhh, that is just fabulous, Deb!

Carol............. said...

Isn't such friendship amazing..where you can just pick up where you left off regardless of time?

Am totally ready to hear about the rest of your trip and your experiences!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Oh, I was so ready to hear. Can't wait to hear about this opportunity.

Amber said...

Wow! Well, there is a REASON you are so loved. Soak it up. Roll around in it.

:)

Julia said...

Oh my. I can not wait for our December date.

colbymarshall said...

Wow! That's incredible! I'm so glad you had such a great time, and I'm also happy for you and your friend to have gotten some uality time together.

Janna Qualman said...

Incredible! But if what I know of you is any indication, you deserved this treat and so much more. I'm certain you received graciously, too!

Anonymous said...

This was really interesting. I loved reading it.