spontaneous dichotomies

The roads are the kind that dip and swirl, pulling your stomach with them. My iPod was on shuffle and the songs matched this experience and I knew that was grace.

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.

20 clicked right here to comment:

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh, this is fabulous. And also, I feel so much (good) jealousy! :)


Kathleen Overby said...

This made my day all sunshiny. :)

Ann Imig said...

I love your noticing.

The uncomfortable adventure of a road trip is a great analogy.

What a huge blessing you and Maggie are. To each other and to all of us. To me.

Cameron said...

I'm so glad that you went and had an amazing time!

I also really really want to see the book room but the link just goes to her blog? I mean, the book room just sounds FABULOUS!

Becky said...

Yeah! What Ann said!
I am tearing up as I write this because YOU are so amazing and yesterday was so good. "What about my avatar?" Just wish it could have been longer.

Love you lady. and proud of your progress.

Heather of the EO said...

Cameron, the picture at the top of her blog is the book room. I didn't have my camera with (seriously. what kind of blogger am I?) so it's not another view that I'm linking to. Prolly confusing. Sorry 'bout it.

a Tonggu Momma said...

There is something about taking a journey alongside others that still others might find obscure. For you, it's sobriety. For me, it's waiting and waiting to adopt from China. You connect without words when you have such a shared experience. It acts as a balm to your soul. It's beautiful.

Kate, aka Guavalicious said...

You're so lucky to have each other.

sdas said...


Liz @ Peace, Love and Guacamole said...

You nailed it about the power of a "simple" road trip.

Also, I REALLY want a book room!

Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

Blogging is so amazing isn't it? The online connections that turn into real life friends. Just amazing.

Aging Mommy said...

Fabulous post. You sound as if you really are making such great progress, in sobriety, in peace with yourself and your life and in so doing being able to fully appreciate all that you have, your family.

maggie, dammit said...

Well if anyone would know grace, it's you.

I'm still kind of speechless over the whole thing, I think. I'm just so happy you came. It was just so good to sit with you.

I love you. Truly.


wendy said...

well, dang...I really liked this.
where would we be without God's Grace
if we can stop hyper-ventilating..and just breath, we do indeed find that we are surrounded by it

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Anonymous said...

We are kindred spirits, in that I would totally uproot myself and drive for hours to meet a special friend. I'm that kind of person, and when it works out, there is NOTHING better. How you describe it here is great and amazing and I'm so happy for you!

Jessica said...

Love that you just went . . . how fun and wonderful and inspiring!

Kristen @ Motherese said...

I love the idea of a "grace face" and I love the fact that you got to spend some quality time with one of yours. Now you've got me thinking about my own grace faces and who exactly they might be. xo

Anonymous said...

The more life passes, the more I realize how completely worthwhile it is to inconvenience my life (and perhaps my bladder) to be with a friend who GETS it. I feel jealousy and admiration of your get-up-and-go-edness to just be there!

Boy Crazy said...

so sad to have missed you. :(

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