Photo: ka johnson

Life is beginning to open up again. The walls of isolation from the past year are starting to crumble and we are beginning to venture out, some like a timid deer wondering if it is safe to come out of the forest and into the open meadow, while others are jumping back into society with seeming abandon.

I tend to think that I am somewhere in the middle, still cautious, yet more than ready to embrace the world again with the excitement of a young child on Christmas morning. When the new year portended a return to a semblance of normalcy, one of my intentions was to travel. Local. National. International. I have placed no limits on the places I want to visit, knowing that it is the connection and experience that I seek.

So when an opportunity to travel (and attend a retreat, no less!) presented itself to me, I just had to say yes, without over-thinking or analyzing whether it was the right thing to do, because, well, I just knew it was! So, I packed up my yoga pants and several containers of sanitizing wipes, and ventured to Asheville, North Carolina for several days of yoga, reiki and just simple being-ness with a beautiful group of like-minded souls. (I was also fortunate enough to visit a dear friend along the way, which was an added bonus!). It was the perfect way to re-connect with humans outside of Zoom, and not just with my fellow retreaters and friend. Everyone I met along the way made the trip special. Airport and airline employees were friendly and overtly welcoming, no doubt buoyed by the return of their profession after the forced hiatus. Fellow travelers, while still stationed behind their masks, seemed to crave casual conversation with complete strangers, each of us having shared the once-in-a-generation experience of a global pandemic.

And upon my return, I felt an immense sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the opportunity to travel and for all who made that possible. Gratitude for the re-connection with fellow humans that I knew would come some day, but seemed forever just out of reach. And gratitude for being able to witness the realization of my intentions, knowing that the Universe does truly arrange our lives according to our deepest desires. All we have to do is trust, and follow the promptings of our heart.

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