Connections

This morning, I asked Beth to join me for a walk. She’s been doing yoga and trampolining for exercise, but I haven’t done anything to move this 60-year-old body around in a while. She set the pace and off we went down the street. I was happy to be outside, looking up at the mountains and walking alongside my partner.

Coming to a fork in the road, I suggested the one that ran alongside a stream. We both love the sound of water. It’s been raining here (muddy season), so the force of the water was both confident and alluring.

As is typical, we launched into a conversation about whatever was on our minds or in our hearts. Walking or driving has always an opportunity for us to connect with one another. We’ve been working and living together 24/7 for nearly thirty years!

Beth told me about a woman she spoke with last night who had moved from the northeast to the big island of Hawaii. I already knew that Beth wanted to visit Hawaii one day and we’ve been talking about it as a part of our Adventure during her 60th birthday year in 2023.

Beth is also actively thinking about running some adventurous Yoga Retreats with clients in the future, so Dana (the woman in Hawaii) is a potential collaborator or advisor for a Hawaiian retreat.

If you haven’t noticed it, yet, we don’t think small when it comes to travel!

Turning around, I saw another woman and her dog on the opposite side of the street. The dog was leaning in our direction, so we crossed the street and asked if we could greet him/her. “Of course,” said our new walking friend!

For the next half hour, we had a lovely, in-depth conversation with this woman, a retired professor and author named Cynn Chadwick. We spoke of the Asheville area and all of the writers, painters, and other artists who populate the city and surrounding mountainous towns like Weaverville. She told us of the book she had just finished and sold, one that took her to England to research her family history. It was her first work of historical fiction.

Coincidence? Hardly. Beth and I have been tapping into the creative muses ever since we started on the Adventure and I’ve been doing it for years as a songwriter. In my opinion, these playful, spiritual beings don’t talk to us out loud – they connect to us through channels. Their energy comes through the people, and animals we meet as we move through our days. At this point in my life, it’s like a switch I turn to “on” and the energy is always available to me (and you)!

Down here in the South, it’s easy-as-pie to get someone talking and I just love when it happens. After our conversation with Cynn, we ran into our neighbor, Chuck. He’s a longtime resident of Sugar Cove Road, a Vietnam veteran, a self-educated student of history, and a person who can easily hold forth for hours at a time.

Today we spoke of everything from the history of medical examiners in New York to the former USSR, the American Revolution, and the fact that only 30% of Asheville residents are from here. The culture continues to change rapidly (and North Carolinians are worried about it) but as Chuck said, “it’s been happening since Indian tribes invited the white man to live alongside them… and they’ve likely regretted it ever since!”

A week ago, a man from Duncan, SC who we ran into outside a coffee shop in Spartanburg, told us that Southerners are okay with people moving here. However, many of them are not happy when we impose our Northern culture on the towns and cities here. He fears that the culture he grew up with is deteriorating. I get it. I’ve seen how progress can senselessly eliminate a cultural legacy.

Last night, I joined my friend Giles for a men’s circle in Candler, NC. I came to sit in THEIR circle and offer the gift of my presence. I was there to learn, to grow, and to ask for the gift of their attention in return. They gave it willingly and it was a very helpful experience for me. I am grateful.

In its most beautiful and respectful form, I come to a new group, to a conversation, to an animal or a place as I would the woods. I try to connect with its energy. Living life and traveling to me, has evolved from just seeing things to something much richer. I have begun to see travel as an exchange of energy, a connection that exists on a feeling level as well as a mental one. It feels sacred when we listen and connect to the land or to other beings.

And that’s an Adventure I plan to continue as long as I live.

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