Allow me a few minutes to ramble, if you will, to explain why I write this blog.
A medical scare for my husband about 5 years ago brought forth a sense of urgency in him to get on with life. Being the great adventurer that he is, he wanted to buy an RV and start exploring this beautiful country and others. For Terry, hiking, biking, kayaking, being out in nature, is where he feels most in touch with his higher power.
Enter me, the other half of this couple, the one always driven, the classic workaholic – although I too love nature, exploration, and staying fit. The whole RV thing took me a while to wrap my head around. Not only would I be retiring earlier than many (age 54), but living in a 38 foot home-on-wheels with my husband left me wondering…would it bring us closer or push us apart? I also wanted this to be a time in my life when I slowed way down and got to know me far better. The big question – could I actually do this? Terry was worried whether this driven personality of mine could handle early retirement. Well, the verdict is in. I love it, love Terry more, and feel blessed to be able to get to know LuAnn better.
Immediately following retirement we headed back to Sedona, where we had a home, to visit one of my closest friends Barb, truly my anam cara (soul friend). It seemed the perfect place to begin this journey, alongside Barb. You see, she was critically ill for many years and we all knew her days were numbered. A talented artist and musician, it seemed the more physically ill she became, the more her spirit grew. The lessons she taught those fortunate enough to know her came at an increasingly rapid pace. Her passing about 1.5 years ago left a huge hole in my soul, but memories so rich they will last a lifetime. She taught me to follow my passions as she did up until her death at age 53 – still creating beautiful works of art on her computer with only her big toe, as she had ultimately lost the use of her arms.
Our first year was spent in Mexico and this blog was initially started as a way to keep family and friends informed of our whereabouts. We got the sense that many thought we were being chased throughout Mexico by the drug cartels (lol) but, like others who have ventured SOB, we found a culture rich in family and history. The interior of Mexico and its colonial cities is breath-taking. Unfortunately, border town strife and over-the-top media attention has, for the most part, given Mexico a bad rap.
Our year in Mexico ended; we said via con Dios to a beautiful country; and moved on to explore our native homeland, the US. We have found jaw-dropping beauty along the way and met some wonderful folks that we feel blessed to call friends. What I never imagined, however, was the impact my blogger friends would have on my life. The talent I have uncovered by so many of you leaves me speechless and a bit vulnerable, I might add, as I prepare to enter your world. The message drummed into my head at a very early age of “not good enough” has floated back in a time or two, but I forcefully push it aside. So, without further adieu and to finally stop the rambling, I give you my first attempt at baring my soul through poetry. My blogger friend Penny of the why about this, one of the most inspirational blogs I have come across, gave me the final nudge I needed. Thank you my friend. Here it is, short and not always so sweet (think of Sylvia Plath meets Maya Angelou):
Did you know…?
Did you know your troubled past
bled into our lives too?
Little fingers clutching a mother,
tear-stained faces telling the tale.
A mother’s grief reflected in our eyes.
Did you know the shame I claimed for my own,
the price a child pays for that trauma?
Was this your shame as well,
a cycle repeated?
Did you know I stood at the precipice,
staring into the abyss,
willing the alluring darkness to take me,
pulling back from the edge at the last?
Did you know when I learned of your passing
I felt only emptiness,
the darkness calling to me once more?
A repeat performance for my eyes only.
Did you know you took my childhood
but I refused to give you more?
I shouted to the heavens,
“I choose happiness, compassion, love,
the wonder in each day…
We did not speak of the pain,
the scars that seemed to never heal.
Nevertheless, I forgave you.
Did you know?
© LuAnn Oburn 2012