She gets it. She completely, absolutely gets it.
Last night, sitting in the dark of the backseat, I smiled listening to her chatter. We had just picked her up from the airport after a 24-hour journey home from Australia where she spent ten months studying the Arts in Sydney. Shannon and I had both been giddy with excitement for days, anticipating the blissful simplicity of having her back in our world. We had all been fully supportive (and quite impressed) with her decision to move across the globe in the first place, but there was no denying that we’d missed her desperately. Skype had worked wonders in keeping us connected, at least somewhat, but to have her home now….sheer, inexplicable joy.
I didn’t need to say much. She already knew. So instead we just asked her a few questions about her final days and hours in Sydney, and listened, simply content that she was actually present with us.
I can’t fully explain what it feels like to connect with another person on a soul level. I think writers and musicians have been trying to express those sentiments for centuries. It’s something that happens almost magically, and try as we might, we can’t recreate it or construct it on our own. What I can say, is that when you encounter it, cling to it with all that’s in you…because it’s rare. And invaluable.
She shared that her last night, she and her roommate didn’t sleep. They stayed up all night writing going away letters and talking, and then before dawn walked down to the beach to watch the sunrise over the ocean. And then in a moment of spontaneity, decided to swim. In the freezing waters of the Tasman sea. In their pajamas. As the sun rose quietly and dolphins played in the distance.
And I smiled. God. Life. Love. Living. She gets it. She completely, absolutely gets it.
Then this morning, Linda and I chatted on the phone. Me sitting at my table with breakfast, her sitting at hers with hot tea and a journal. We talked about all she has walked thru the last year…major transitions, growth, getting married, newfound freedom and transformation. She shared how Tommy had asked her what she wanted to do next in life, now that the wedding was behind them, and she had responded, “I don’t necessarily want to do anything. I’ve been defined by whatever it was I was doing all my life. Now, I just want to be. I want to be a wife. I want to be a friend. I want to know and be known by God.”
And I smiled. She gets it. She completely, absolutely gets it.
My heart is full to overflowing with gratitude. For Erin, for Linda, and every other kindred spirit that colors this life so vividly for me. They remind me every single day of what’s important, of the only things of lasting importance. Like being a wife. Like being a friend. Like swimming in the Tasman sea with your best friend at sunrise…
"Vivid Life" in Hebrew. Erin Ethridge. 2009.