I was keenly aware of grace.
I listened to an entire audiobook about grace on my seven hour drive, and I thought, it's everywhere I look. I can see it. This is what I mean by extraordinary.
It was in the stacked green trees on the hills and on the cows in the fields, and my heart started revving up when I looked at the GPS and saw I was only a mile away. I knew I was about to see one of my life's most treasured grace faces, smiling at me in a deeply rooted recognition of soul. I'm not making it up when I say that the sun peeked through the clouds right in that moment, and then disappeared for the rest of the weekend.
There is nothing, nothing, like sharing a sobriety date with someone. And that it all happened through blogging? Well, we sure blog-met for a reason. Many reasons.
So when I stepped out of the car after a spontaneous decision to drive to Maggie's house when she said, "you should come over," it was surreal. It was good, maybe even a little taste of perfection. I'm starting to see that the best things in life really are experienced when you simply follow your heart-gut and do unplanned and slightly neurotic things.
I mean, 14 hours in the car in 2 days? Out of the blue. Who does that?
And I'm so glad.
Maggie's home is a refuge, a true shelter of peace. Her family is precious. My short time there, totally worth the hours in the car with a sore bum and a far too frequently full bladder. Road trips are such a mix of frustration and grace, like a condensed version of the whole of life's dichotomies. I think I love me some road trips.
Maggie and I are closing in on 5 months of sobriety. We talked about it, of course, but we also talked about a hundred other things. We are becoming more of what we were always meant to be, together. And no one understands exactly as Maggie does what I'm feeling about all of that at any given time. It's indescribable and much like my road trip. As I think about that, I realize that we both quit drinking in much the same way I decided to go on this trip. Suddenly, unexpectedly, with a mix of the fear of the unknown and the excitement of hope.
Maggie fully understands my discomfort, the ache of sitting in the same position too long, while she recognizes the grace of freedom like the wind through the open windows that she sees in my face.
I'm just so grateful.
Also. I slept in the book room. Which means that the reading of all the book titles on the shelves stole a whole bunch of my sleep. It was totally radical.
Also. The icing on my visit cake? Surprising Becky and Ann. Let's just say there was a lot of hugging and squealing and then more hugging.
Thank you, Maggie. I love you and your family and your guacamole.
And then, I love coming home, to the place where my boys interrupt my thoughts as I write this, like their children's music sporadically interrupted my ipod shuffle on the trip. These interruptions can be annoying at the same time they are the most delicious tastes of grace, breaking in and bringing my focus back to my three greatest loves.