16 July 2012

My Visit to The West

We just returned from the West.  This trip renewed my soul.

I had some moments that took my breath away, ones that made my heart just feel alive.  They brought tears to my eyes then and do so now as I think of them.

One was while sitting at my friend's kitchen table in Salt Lake City with two dear friends (S and A).  They are more like family to me.  They both now live in Salt Lake but previously lived in Brooklyn for many years, and it feels as though we grew up together here.  I go so far back with these women that we knew each other before any of us had kitchen tables.  Among the three of us, we've experienced 6 Brooklyn renovations, 2 divorces, 4 husbands, 1 apartment fire, 1 east coast black out, 1 Brooklyn home squatter that wouldn't leave for 9 months, probably 7 trips to the tow yard, 1 stolen car, the births of 3 dear children, 1 dog, 1 cruise, and more road trips and rooftop picnics in Brooklyn than we can count.  We have had extraordinary experiences together.  Ones that have changed us forever.  I sat at that table and just cried as I felt the richness of friendship and life and what we've all experienced.  It truly is extraordinary.

The next day I hiked the Y Mountain in Provo while Danny was at a conference.  I had never done it before (I'd only been to Provo once before as a teenager) but headed up at 2:00 pm regardless of the hot sun.  The views were breathtaking and the air so quiet.

At the top I saw a father and son as we both took in the view.  He asked what I do (I tell ya, it's been a unique experience telling people that I'm a blogger :).  But he knew all about blogging.  He was friends with Stephanie Nielsen and Courtney Kendrick and was friends with Gabrielle Blair's brother-in-law. As we got to talking, he was very curious what it was like to share so many personal details on line.  He wondered what that might be like for Danny and I and our own marriage.  Well, it was then that I told him why Danny and I had anything to share about love at all.  I told him a bit about our experiences and why it is that we have learned what we have...and how that all led to the two of us being together (see the first email from our 'Love Story' series here).  I told him that we're so grateful for it all that now we're doing all we can to give back.  And I cried.  Right then and there, with this beautiful view just sweeping me away, the soil under my feet and the beauty of the earth and beauty of my life, I just cried as I told this kind stranger what it has been like for Danny and I to have a blog.  He thanked me for sharing.  And then a storm swept in.  I said good bye and ran down with rain on my face, cool air all around me, the sound of thunder and the smell of rain and wet soil.  My soul just wept with gratitude.

It is my hope that we all will have moments that tap our souls and make us feel something - something that is greater than life.  Seek after these moments.  See the beauty in your life.  It is all around you.

Have you had any of these moments recently?  If you feel so inclined, I'd love to hear.

Much love to you all today.


P.S.  I'm driving in a cab home from JFK.  My legs are sore from hiking.  :)  Blogging, a Brooklyn Cyclones game and fireworks at Coney Island, some walks with our readers, a NY Philharmonic concert in Central Park, hiking at the Adirondacks, picnics with friends, bike rides with Danny, the Olympics, and some beach days await us.  I'm so excited to have many days of summer left.  I want to savor every single one of them.

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  1. Mara, I loved this. There's something about the land in Utah that makes me feel alive, too. I can't wait to go back.

    I think the most recent experience with that for me was last Saturday when I was working my shift at the San Diego Temple-- at that same time the week before, I had been up in the bay area, in a dark bar, playing a rock show. It was just such a stark contrast-- I love being a musician, but bar vs. temple? Darkness vs. light. Huge difference. Standing in the temple on Saturday, I felt that difference, and felt so much gratitude for having the light of the gospel in my life.

    1. Allison- I loved this. Thanks for sharing. It's pretty amazing to be able to go some place where you can feel some light! :)

  2. Yes, I've had those soul stirring moments of expansive gratitude. A feeling that no matter how hard things seem at times it is so worth it and I feel the greatness of it all in the depths of my being. Love those moments, so peaceful and sustaining.

  3. I am seeing that view out my parents window now. I live in NY too (an hour north) and am in Utah right now to say goodbye to my dad before he dies, now that he is of dialysis. I want to make this visit good. I will make moments of gratitude bring that sweetness alive.

    This was a beautiful post. As always, thanks for inspiring goodness and gratitude.

    1. Oh Sage, my heart skipped when I read this. What an experience. I send good wishes to you and your family - that this visit will be memorable, good, and full of love, comfort & gratitude. Much love to you, our dear blog friend.

  4. Nice to meet you, Mara. I was the guy at the top of the Y with my son in the backpack. I looked up your blog over the weekend; and, as I thought might be the case, my wife Emily was already familiar with A Blog About Love. After seeing your enthusiasm for creativity and for your life, I expected to see something very good. And now, having browsed through your posts, I am really impressed, both with the providence of your story and with the aesthetic of your blog. I really enjoyed our conversation -- hearing about your blog and a bit of your story. Thanks for sharing with a stranger. Steve Craig

    1. Steve, wow - thank so much for writing in! So fun to see your note. And yes, nice to meet you. Thanks so much for your kindness and for the chat on top of the Y. How fun to hear that your wife knows about our blog :) That's great.
      Enjoy many more hikes up to that beautiful view!

  5. I went to a wedding on Saturday and was just enamored with the details of the beautiful setting and ceremony (some of the best toasts I've ever heard!). But the moment that was so beautiful and for which I am very thankful was actually on the drive home. The wedding favor was a cd of songs picked by the bride and groom. I stuck it in my cd player, turned on the ac, and drove home along the straight county roads through the fields. The sun was still out but it was at that beautiful time of night right before it starts to truly set and the big open fields gave me an incredible view of the mountain our town loves, but I hardly ever really see. The combination of the music, the sun, and the scenery made me especially thankful for friendship and love and the place that I call home.

    1. Caity - LOVED this. Thanks for writing in. I can just imagine that moment...it sounds so beautiful. I wish I could hear that CD...what an awesome wedding favor.

  6. Sometimes I feel like if I share these things- on the internet especially- they're no longer mine. Is that irrational? Would the psychologists have something to say about that? Or is it just personal?

    1. Sophie - I can see how you could feel that way. I've met many who have said something similar. Not sure what the psychologist would say :) but I think it's sweet that you have some special experiences that you like to just hold near & dear.

  7. Sounds like your trip to Utah was awesome. All is well in Zion :) Haha!
    Love your blog!
    Oh, Just Living the Dream


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