You, Me, And The Universe

travel, nature, reflection

Category: nature

A beautiful soul in nature

I can’t remember her name…but does it even matter? She is identified though her actions, her words. She was so interested in my life, in my trip.. asking me where I’ve been, where I’m going, who I’ve met.  This soul sitting next to me fully entered  my thoughts, absorbing each word as I spoke it.  When someone is really listening to you,  you can see it in their eyes. She told me where to go once I get off the train–take the metro to Market East station, which is where old town  and historical monuments are.  Once we arrived, she led me to the metro area and wished me good luck–the most genuine good luck I’ve ever heard.

IN Philly I spent the day mostly walking. No host. But feeling free. Entirely aimless. I truly loved the lay-out of the city–simple to navigate  and the streets looked similar to Charlottesville. I took a train back to D.C to stay with Braden, my old host for a few days. I need to write about the conversation we had one night: him talking about his passions…what classifies a passion.. and also of how he judges someone–not based on their job/contacts/likes/dislikes but based on how they treat other people. He referenced the purposelessness and misunderstandings involved in war. People are so much more than their religious beliefs or the labels society creates for them. He said the only part he’s concerned with is the treatment of others, pointing  out that couchsurfers invite me to stay with them without knowing what I believe in or without having similar interests. I’m still treated with kindness– and this treatment takes priority.

Advertisements

Undated

I spent the night on the train and woke up in Charlottesville, VA to witness a sunrise that makes me glad I didn’t kill myself a year ago. I would’ve died without seeing the Virginia horizon encompass a rising star, awakening my heart and my mind. It felt like waking up in a warm bed next to someone you love, whether family or friend. You open your eyes and are suddenly fully aware of1901892_10201731712349320_1283227702_n how you woke up in this bed, with this person, and not in a different bed, perhaps alone. The warm bed is enough. More than enough. But sometimes you’ll wake up next to a person you care about and maybe that person is still sleeping. I just kind of take a moment to let gratitude envelope me– and, for a small part of space-time, I’m comforted by pure amazement.

The sun rose, lit the sky on fire and awakened my heart. Charlottesville was a nice, vintage looking town. I arrived in town with the intention of finding a homeless shelter to shower in. I found it, but chickened out in the end. I’m glad though. Not sure how smart that would have been– 20 y/o girl in a building with several homeless men. Also glad because I learned how to endure feeling “dirty.” Four days without a shower felt disgusting. But I conditioned myself to stop thinking about it, believing I looked OK without. The biggest problem, surprisingly, was my feet sweating and my socks stinking.

I should mention the girl I chatted with on the train out of Atlanta. Thirty-six y/o mother of two. Single mother of two. We talked about our lives, mostly about her, and I’m glad. I love learning about people. I love experiencing that circumspect feeling of knowing what others go through. Simple facts, simple conditions of her life help illuminate and redefine my own life. She was pregnant in high school with her son. The father was seemingly non-existent: in and out of jail, incapable of providing even his presence. Her kids don’t see or talk to him 18 years later. I told her about my trip and she said she admired me, told me she would love to mirror my decision if she was without children. She made me laugh and I made her laugh too. Our lives, running independent of one another, had collided on a train at 3 o’clock in the morning. When she left at 5:30 a.m, she left me sitting there and I was a different person at 5:31, alone with my thoughts.  Each person I meet offers an opportunity to look at  my life from an angle previously unrecognizable. What is more enriching than that?

Day 18

On the train. Should be in D.C within the hour. Maryland is beautiful; we’ve been traveling along the river for more than a couple hours. Thin, naked trees surrounding the riverbed and Imagepiles of dead leaves covering the earth. The sun is shining, illuminating the white rapids. Where the water is calm, almost completely still, it mirrors the bare forest above. How do I feel about my trip? I feel it’s important to press on. I have no idea what awaits me.