|Borrowed from Flora Bowley's Brave Intuitive You message|
This doesn't take away my responsibility for my actions and their results; it just puts them in a larger field of vision, and allows me to find value in them, rather than condemnation. I'll take value over condemnation any day!
Yesterday, I took a leap of faith and traveled to Canada to meet Elizabeth Aquino, a friend I have known through our blogs for several years. Her blog, a moon, worn as if it had been a shell, is one of my favorites. Elizabeth is a gifted writer, a hilarious woman, a kind and loyal friend, a devoted, compassionate caregiver and an insightful human being. I've wanted to meet her, but since she lives in California and I live up here, the opportunity has not presented itself...until this week.
Elizabeth won a week of respite from the wonderful organization Caregifted. She chose to spend it in Victoria, B.C., and if you're a regular reader here, you know how I feel about that city. I sent a packet of information to her about things to see and places to go, and she invited me to visit her. I took her up on that offer, left my home at 6:00 A.M., caught a ferry across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and arrived around 10:00 A.M. in that inviting, breathtakingly beautiful city.
Before I write about our visit, can you suspend disbelief for a few moments while I tell you what happened on the boat on the way over? Because it is a crazy "coincidence," - only there are no coincidences.
A couple of years ago, we were invited by friends to the All Academy Military Ball in Seattle. Their daughter has been a classmate of David's since the 1st grade, and I love her. She is a student at West Point Military Academy, and the ball is an event they share with other military academies. It was a privilege to attend.
The speaker at the ball was a retired Colonel named James Wilhite. He is the author of a book called "We Answered the Call: Building the Crown Jewel of Afghanistan." If you haven't seen the book, I recommend that you take a look at it - it's an inspiring, fascinating and unforgettable story. I bought two copies of his book - one for my dad, and one for our friend Fred (both veterans of WWII).
Yesterday, as I packed for the day, I was moved to bring a copy of my book and card. When I boarded the MV Coho (ferry), I sat down at a table and started to read some articles I had packed. Two ladies and a gentleman approached and asked if they could join me. I said, Yes, and returned to my reading. I tried to mind my own business, but I noticed their southern accents. I also heard the man speaking about Sandhurst and then heard him say something about founding a military academy in Afghanistan.
My head snapped up, and I looked across the table at the ladies. "Excuse me; did he write a book? Did he speak in Seattle a couple of years ago?" Yes, he did...Col. James and Mrs. Wilhite were sitting with me, along with their good friend, Ann.
|Colonel Wilhite with me on the MV Coho|
I knew that I was in the right place at the right time yesterday...it was no coincidence.
After leaving the Wilhites, I met Elizabeth in front of the Empress Hotel. We went to have coffee and a snack, and talked without stopping for two hours. Then we walked to meet another blogger, the talented artist Kim of Art in Red Wagons, who had come to see Elizabeth from another part of Washington. We walked to a pub, ate lunch, and talked more.
|Kim and Elizabeth with me at the Irish Times pub in Victoria, B.C.|
I am thankful for the encounters of the day - a couple of miracles, if you consider the odds of both - and look forward to whatever the future holds.
|Birthday dinner with my parents at Marche on Bainbridge Island (Greg & Betsy Atkinson's gem of a restaurant)|
|Birthday flowers from the SFDWG|