“Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.” ~@ANNELAMOTT
This holiday season, I’m believing it Anne. Holidays have become so different from what I was brought up to believe they are all about. Lots of decorations, lots of presents, parties, food, family and sometimes drunk daddies. All of that did feel magical at times, the anticipation of Santa and what he would bring was real and exciting. No matter how old I get, I can feel that on Christmas Eve, as ridiculous of an idea that it is. Maybe I kinda like that feeling for a moment though. Is it possible that there is magic, is it possible a gift will be left tomorrow, even if it is a phone call from a loved one? Even though we did have a pile of presents before us as we entered the living room on Christmas morning, I don’t remember what the presents were, except for the sting ray bike. I still have a picture of me on it. We did some miles together and made some memories. A few fond Christmas memories stick with me: the year we had children from the orphanage over to make cookies and the times we visited the orphanage after that. Our time with orphans was a project my mama was involved in through the Junior League or church. I’m not sure which one, but it was her duty to society none the less. I loved it. I also love the memory of running around Christmas eve day delivering presents of baked goods or the like to friends and neighbors. And Christmas Eve service at church was always calming with the candles lit and carols being sung. Aside from those memories, it all felt like a lot of show. Once I moved to Montana in the 80’s, my older brother lived here in Missoula as well. Christmas Eve, we shared a meal then geared up for a cross country ski at the neighborhood golf course. Silently sliding across the glistening moonlit snow ❄️ I felt warmth, peace and love. I have a little bit of Christmas in me this year for whatever reason. I won’t be buying any presents. I will be hiking with friends, gathering greenery to decorate with. Some baking will happen. Baked goods will be delivered to dear friends. There will be warmth, peace and love. Wishing you the same.
Sometimes, I fall asleep crying and wake up crying. I’ve come to accept that and move through it, knowing in another moment I won’t be.
I cry for missed opportunities, family gatherings, my grandchildren turning 6, hearing them call me Gaga, the comfort of family checking in on each other during a pandemic, sisters, nephews, daughter and grandchildren calling to wish me a happy 61st birthday, planning the next gathering, and laughing together.
For reasons, some of my own doing and some I’m not sure of, those opportunities have passed.
I do believe, if we all listened, really listened with the empathy to put ourselves in each other’s shoes, we could grow to understand and forgive. I believe there is a story to be told, one of love and redemption. Fear is erased, holds on control and the need to be right are loosened, and hearts are opened.
But for today, I’m off to Black Lives Matter Rally in Missoula. Black Lives Matter Rally
Showing up to show support, listen and learn.
Side note: the dolphin is running good. I took it to have oil changed at Lube It. The guys there loved it. I love it when whoever is working on it, loves it. Taking it into RV shop on Wednesday to have a few things taken care of. I love it and it needs so much work!
Wanted to put a plug in for the International Wildlife Film Festival. Films may be viewed virtually at: Wildlife Films. Today and tomorrow are the last days. Many of the films can be viewed for free and donations are always appreciated.
Octopus: Making Contact , I look forward to viewing this film about Heidi, the octopus and her evolving relationship with a marine biologist and his teenage daughter. It is available on Friday, April 25th.
This from 2018, could have been written today. Features dancer, Quentin Robinson from Missoula, MT. I once came across him dancing in the park. I felt lucky, as if I had gotten into a dance performance for free.
It’s going to be hard to fall asleep tonight. Feeling journey proud, as my mama would say. Thinking of all of you who have been there for me, especially during this past year. Each of you have helped, in your own way to give me the courage to make this journey possible. I will carry your smiles, hugs and words along for the ride. Stay tuned as we travel together.
The day before I take off from Missoula for my journey to Baja via the West Coast, friends came to send me off. Thanks to the “Hellgate Junior League” members for the send off. Tomorrow, I’ll make my way to Spokane, Wa. Then to Portland to stay with Bill and LeBrie. Wednesday will take the opportunity to visit Bill’s art exhibit