While walking the Camino de Santiago, the first few days were some of the best of my entire life. The number of good days turned into a number of good weeks. I literally felt like I had won the lottery every single day and started to expect good things every day. Well, they say that the universe provides what we project and I am now a true believer. While adversity is a given, good things continue to happen every day. Here is a tale of 12 hours in my shoes on Oct 1.
I started my day at 9:00 AM enjoying music and lifting weights at Axiom Gym in Boise. For today’s cardio, I chose a stationary bike on the second floor and rode next to an old friend. I have known Robin for years, but we never really had a chance to spend good quality pedaling time together. We talked about the journey of life and following passions. She told me a personal tale about encouraging her young son (7 at the time) to follow his passion for ballet. This was 22 years ago and society was not quite as tolerant. She swam against the current and offered support for this modern day “Billy Elliot”. At age 29, he is a dancing sensation and studied with the New York Ballet for three years. He currently lives in Seattle and follows his dreams. Her smile was contagious as she told me the story.
By 11:00 I was showered, inspired, and ready for my next adventure. I plugged an unknown address into my cell phone GPS, loaded the car with my speaking gear, and drove to Diana Nicholson’s home. She was today’s hostess for the Boise Chapter of P.E.O, a group founded in 1869 with a goal of promoting educational opportunities for women. I was honored to be the guest speaker for the event. Many of these ladies are lifelong friends with my mom. It turns out that I have also known Diana’s daughter for over 25 years. They enjoyed learning about the Camino and I enjoyed learning about their lives. The key lime cheesecake was the best. 15 women are now the proud owners of signed copies of A Million Steps.
3:00 PM felt like a perfect time for a nap. I pulled out a great book, let my cool cat curl up, and dozed off moments later. Very few things are as refreshing to me as a short snooze in the middle of the afternoon.
Some new friends are involved with a local group called Awake and Alive. This is an eclectic group of people that have varied interests in self actualization, spirituality, fitness, self growth, and empowerment. I went to my first social event with this tribe at Salt Tears in Boise. The invitation to the party charmed my mind. Here is the invite: Please bring your music, spoken word, art, poetry, humor, clothing designs, dance, conversation, laughter, any expression you have to offer to celebrate the Awake and Alive community. This is my kind of group!
By 6:30, the small talk ended and we began the meeting. One by one, people took the floor and shared their talent or story. Greg played two tunes on a flute that melted the entire crowd. If this man wanted to pursue music as an occupation, he would never fit the mold of a starving musician. His talents were astounding. The next man literally created an impromptu story about growing up and appreciating the changes in our lovely city of Boise. With the flow of a modern day rapper, and the elegance of a poet, he wowed the crowd with a four minute tale. I could not have replicated his work with weeks of practice and I do a lot of public speaking. It was amazing. Another of my favorites was a man that stood up, asked the crowd to do what he did, and then began to laugh hysterically. Well, we started to emulate but transitioned into a group of laughing fools. I found myself in the midst of the best kind of laugh…the belly laugh. There were at least six other stories that were all uplifting and unique.
I felt a need to eat, so wandered to chow line and ordered dinner. The food was so great that I asked for menu to share the description with you. I had Southwest Cordon Bleu-Chipolte Marinated Chicken Breast Stuffed with Ham & Manchego. Breaded and Baked, Smothered in Poblano Cream Sauce and Served with Spicy White Bean Succotash. This was the opposite of suffering succotash from my old friend Sylvester the Cat.
9:00 PM arrived and I have the luxury of reliving the day by typing and sharing this missive with you. I can hardly wait to wake up tomorrow and enjoy more of life’s lottery winnings.