It’s interesting how a song can take us places, transport us viscerally into a memory. I was sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office, waiting for my son to finish his appointment earlier today. The last 24 hours, hell the last 2 weeks, hell the last two months have been rough. I feel nervous during times of change.
If I am being honest with myself the change began in 2015, the summer I stopped lying.
I used to lie about everything, how I was feeling, what I was doing, why I was making the choices I was making, but most of all I was lying about WHO I WAS. I don’t mean this in a devious I was trying to get something from the world filled way, that’s not what this was, the only casualty of my self deception was me. It was just that one day, I had enough. I was done pretending to be this smart, strong, unwavering human and I started staying NO to the world and yes to me.
This song, I remember so clearly. I am sitting in the grand room of a log cabin in a little town called Boston Bar, Washington. It’s huge and completely deserted. Each couch has a knitted throw and on the end tables were books or games I swear have been there since the 70’s. It really reminded me of a place back from my childhood, a different cabin that my grandma used to live in. She had always, homemade white bread, and wild strawberry jam in her kitchen and when my grandpa was alive this garden so big you could get lost in it. Nearly all of my most fond memories are connected to summers in that place.
Fast forward, this cabin I was staying in, which resembled the one from my childhood, it had an old stereo system with one home made mixed CD playing on repeat in the background. That’s how Betty Davis and I were acquainted, I heard the song while warming up, sitting there that day. It was grey and drizzly, my boyfriend at the time and I had just come from a 4 hour mountain bike ride up this access road. We climbed and climbed and climbed forever and ever so sure that eventually we would arrive at this grand vista and all the work would be worth it. We well such as in life, sometimes you do all the hard work and indeed there is no reward. As was the case for us that day. An adventure none the less, we climbed until we found this dead end and very swampy no view lake. Then it started to rain, we huddled together under the wide branch of a cedar tree trying to stay warm as we ate our mushy sandwiches. These sandwiches though, to die for.
We rode our bikes all the way back down, which gave us more spectacular views than we had experienced on the way up and frankly we were in it for the workout and adventure therapy. I have a funny memory, this guy that I was dating was not at this time a super outdoorsman. He grew into that roll but on this particular trip was still getting his feet wet. At the time of this adventure we were both living in a very large metropolis. We both were very active and enjoyed regular bike trips around our seawall – basically 22 kilometers of pristine ocean front that wanders through a forest, and a bustling city harbor. I miss it. So on our bikes, we had bells. Bells are used in the city to alert pedestrians that you are approaching; so heed caution.
The day we were riding in Boston Bar, we came around the corner and as city guy was a little in front, what do I hear but a bell ringing incessantly. Please note we are quite literally in the middle of NOWHERE. Turns out he came around the corner and startled a bear cub, of and in itself, not that funny. What made this funny to me was that he thought it was a cougar and was completely freaked out. Hey, I know seeing a bear cub is no laughing matter – it’s dangerous to get between a mama and her cub.. but oh man the whole rest of the day I had to endure the bell. He was scared. It was funny and to this day I chuckle randomly about it.
Memory, it’s a powerful thing. A random song in a doctor’s office waiting room. Innocent enough, but the memory of that weekend flooded in. The love I felt, the contentment in my journey, the rich conversation and the pride of problem solving, the familiarity of the home we shared for the weekend. The one hundred percent, self care.
Today this is a few years into the future of that memory. Many things are swirling as the dust settles after this paramount life shift over the last year and a half. I am living in a different town, I am no longer traveling for work. I have a new position I love and that challenges me. I am right where I want to be. I no longer let fear control my actions, I don’t withhold love or affection. I don’t do more than I should or make excuses for doing what I must. My connection to the childhood cabin, is fading fast. I am pushing up against grief. I don’t know what lies ahead. I know only one thing for sure, these memories are a treasure.
The future is unwritten and all that is glitters is assuredly not gold & I for once in my life am NOT lost.