Embrace Everyone

The fine people that venture down the Camino de Santiago come in all sizes, shapes, ages, and colors. There is a natural common bond that develops as we march down the 500 mile long trail. We go to bed and wake up together in group sleeping quarters, walk together, dine in groups, and always help each other. Diversity is embraced as we become a family of friends walking each other home to Santiago. Being open to meeting strangers allowed me to meet many new friends and see the world through their perspective. I was hoping to bring this lesson back to Boise and let more people into my life.

Launching my book, A Million Steps has allowed me to open the door to new and old friends. The walking path has been replaced by FB, Twitter, Email, and telephone, but it ultimately puts me in direct contact with some exceptional people. Here is a recap from the past seven days of some social interactions that were caused by my new adventure.

I had a nice lunch with my good friends Dave and Kris in downtown Boise. They recently retired and are looking well rested and happy in their new roles. Life is treating them well and they shared their stories about some recent and future travel plans. One of my favorite things about this couple is watching the way they treat each other with love and respect. Their marriage is long in the tooth but they act like newlyweds.

I met my dear friend Jan for coffee to give her a signed copy of the book. The power was out at the java shop so we enjoyed flavored water in silence. It amazed me how quite the world becomes when the electric machines are not running. It was soothing. Each time I see her, I always leave with a smile on my face. Turns out that she happens to have a relationship with a man named Dean that shares my last name. She is sending him my book. How fun is that?

A women approached me after a speaking engagement and asked if I would have dinner at her house. Turns out that her husband is a docent with my mom at the Boise Art Museum. We made it a group event last week and enjoyed a fine meal at their home. Dario was the chef and kindly prepared a some fine Spanish cuisine. His wife put the cherry on the cake a sugary creation that ignited my taste buds. When we arrived, both of them were literally dancing to Fleetwood Mac in their living room. Priceless.

I needed some help to promote my upcoming launch with a local hiking club. I sent some blind messages to a few members. Turns out that one of them is a man that worked with me 35 years ago at a local restaurant. We met for coffee to catch up on the years that evaporated since our last meeting. While he is doing great now, he had a rough road in his late teens. He told me an extraordinary tale of drugs and alcohol that resulted in a huge mishap with the law. During a crazed meltdown (30+ years ago) he actually shot a swat cop in the ass. Needless to say, they put a few in him and he served his time. While I certainly do not advocate shooting people, I was amazed to hear the words from his mouth. Who would have thought that writing a book would lead me to this guy.

On Sunday, I received a phone call from a mother of a lady that I dated in high school. The mom was in Boise to visit a friend and she wanted to meet and take a signed book to her daughter in WA. I met the mom and her friend for coffee at Starbucks. Age treated the mom well and the friend has an amazing story of her battle with cancer. I have not met many people that have faced this evil disease. Her tale of fighting and survival was completely uplifting. Another spectacular day.

This morning, I had a call from a childhood friend that I met in the third grade. He was in town from AZ to meet with his aging mother. We met for mocha and laughed for hours. He is my “star” friend, the kind that is always there but not in sight.

From cop shooters to childhood friends, I cherish all the people that cross my path. Letting people into my world fills my soul and keeps my inner light lit. These are the treasures of life…….