The thing I’ve been most fearing on my journey has happened… I met a man.
I’ve had a strong feeling that this was going to happen on my journey, and I’ve been dreading it. My history with men has been painful. I’ve had to put a restraining order in place and then had to call the police to come rescue me when that order was ignored. I had to submit to the shame of having my physician photograph my body after a beating. I experienced the betrayal of a trusted husband embezzling from me. I had to learn that I was an enabler and that it isn’t good to be too nice, easy going, or passive. I have worked hard to learn from these experiences and have become a stronger, more assertive woman.
This journey has been a new chapter in my life. I love driving on my own, pulling my trailer, and setting up my campsite with independent confidence. I have been very conscious of how good it feels to leave behind the home where so many hard things happened. I am comfortable doing single and independent, and I know how to be happy on my own. Dating is scary because it is inviting the past back in and is a threat to this gal turning back to her old self and being vulnerable once again.
As the months have gone by, I have begun to relax and have eased into the joys of meeting new people and enjoying the beauties of nature at every stop. I’ve enjoyed establishing my personnae as a single woman traveling alone. I have not been lonely because I have met really nice people every step along the way. In early January I settled into an RV park in western Arizona for a full month in order to give winter a chance to pass on by. This park holds a karaoke gathering every Saturday afternoon and I made a point to go each week. I don’t get up and sing but I enjoy watching others attempt it, and I enjoy the music and singing along quietly. Those of us who don’t get up to sing refer to ourselves as back up singers – way back.
One Saturday I was sitting there waiting for the singing to begin and visiting with the people sitting near me when I heard a deep male voice behind me. I automatically turned to see who belonged to the voice. He was heading around the tables to go sit with some of his friends. When I turned my head, he looked at me, stopped in his tracks, spotted the empty chair beside me, and changed his trajectory to sit in the open seat next to me. And our story began.
We visited quietly while others were singing. He asked where I was from and if the cute little trailer was mine. He asked if my husband was travelling with me. He was impressed to hear that I was travelling alone and told me that I am brave. He had no idea that he was the scariest thing I had yet faced on my solitary travels.
When he got up to sing his first song, the vibration from his voice hit me right in my solar plexus. You gals will know what I mean, that deep bass voice that just hits you and rocks your core. I was grateful that I was sitting because my knees felt weak. When he returned to the table and began singing quietly with the next song, I sang along with him, and found it easy to harmonize with his voice.
And thus, began the two most romantic weeks I’ve ever experienced. He invited me to ride out into the desert on his quad and I sat behind him bracing with my legs and hanging on to the side handles as we bounced along the trails and up and down steep hills. He took me to see shrines and mines, beautiful rocks, petroglyphs, and stunning mountain views. He listened to me, really listened, and we shared our stories. He took me out for dinners, and we laughed.
One of my last evenings in the park we sat on his porch enjoying the sunset as he serenaded me. The sky was streaked with beautiful colors and a light breeze was blowing. He had chosen a song to be “our” song. He strummed his guitar and sang it to me. And then he continued to sing while I sat back and allowed the healing energy of his voice to fill me with deep relaxation and peace.
Dick provided me with the gift of time, both the time we spent together and the acceptance that I would be leaving in two weeks. He recognized how important this journey is for me and acknowledged that he’d be disappointed if I didn’t continue. I couldn’t promise to return because I’m following the path as I’m led by intuition, timing, and circumstance. His acceptance that our time together was short, and that this journey right now is everything for me, was an amazing gift for me.
I was concerned that I’d be leaving a chunk of my heart behind, but instead I find that I’m heading out bolder, more confident, and with a heart that is strengthened. For two weeks I relaxed from my fierce independence and enjoyed being sheltered a bit by another. I have faced the fear I dreaded and have found myself strong in my own knowing and still determined to follow my path. I am putting my needs first and continuing Into the Journey.