It’s a bit odd living in a post script. And, what I mean when I say I live in a post script is that the greater part of our Australian adventure has concluded. We have packed up our home, moved in to a friend’s extra bedroom, and we’re living out the next six weeks of our time here from the comfort of a futon and extremely disorganized suitcases. But, like the juiciest information in a letter is often shared in the postscript, so too does our postscript contain some real treasure.
Last weekend Rick and I went to Cooroy to bid a final farewell to our friends Heidi and Joe and bask in the aura of their dream lifestyle. They recently made the choice to follow their passions and left Brisbane to buy an amazing, self-sustaining property in the hills outside Noosa. They opened a yoga studio, mediation centre, and ayurvedic clinic where they work together, alongside their new puppy Shakti. They are getting married in October, just two weekends before Rick and me – so it’s fun to compare notes. Our weddings will be quite different I think! They fed us mulled wine, lemon butter, and sourdough bread until we could eat no more, and sent us on our way with half the citrus in their orchard. It was such a beautiful weekend; a huge bonfire, great conversation, puppy snuggles, a great yoga practice (while Rick surfed), and some time to enjoy each other’s company. I couldn’t have come up with a better way to spend one of our precious postscript weekends.
Well, there is one way that might be better – or at least comparably good. And, that’s what we have planned for this weekend. Tomorrow, I have a three-hour spa session that my mom got me as a 30th birthday present. I had been saving until it no longer made sense to save it – NOW! So, I am taking off Friday, going for a luxurious morning at the spa, and then spending the remainder of the weekend (and Monday!) in the company of some lovely friends on Stradbroke Island where we have plans to whale watch, cook, and generally having a blast! I went whale watching several years ago in Alaska, but whales have long been one of my favorite creatures and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to do it again.
It feels good to be in this postscript mental space I am right now. We are (thankfully) mentally present for these last weeks in Australia because we have most of our wedding details sorted out – at least for the time being. So many friends and family have stepped to the plate to sing, conduct our ceremony, coordinate various wedding details, throw showers, give tours of Milwaukee sights, and generally help out. I always knew I wanted my wedding to be a community affair, but little did I know how much I’d actually NEED it to be. I have been amazed at the enthusiasm and dedication of my friends and family, particularly my amazing parents who are helping with so much of the planning AND doing a throwback to their wedding and literally wearing what they got married in over 30 years ago (which actually is perfect considering we’re using almost the same colors and my dad wore a nice coat and my mom wore a beautiful women’s suit and not an actual wedding dress.)
I love the way things are shaping up for both the wedding and the time on either side of it. I have had several talks with Heidi (above) about how in pursuing one’s dreams and their dharma the path opens up before them with each step; for Heidi that was moving to the hills with Joe and living off the land. For me it was everything that has come to be with Rick and me. From our fortuitous meeting while I was still in another relationship, to our subsequent meetings after, to our courtship, our move to Australia, the dramas that came with it that strengthened our bond, our engagement, and to our decisions to move home and make massive career and lifestyle changes. It feels as though each new opportunity presents itself when it should and when we have the means to make the best of it.
Last week I finished writing up the answers to some questions that were asked of us by the friend who is doing our wedding ceremony. They were simple questions, but knowing he would take the answers and use them to help shape his words made me give strong consideration to my answers. I recognized in my answers the lessons of several challenging years coming to roost as I emphasized our partnership, our shared joy in the successes and passions of the other person, our mutual desire to foster each other’s strengths and support their weaknesses, to truly face the world with a united front, and commit fully to our partnership through the obstacles and challenges we will unquestionably face. It’s true that passion can be the spark of love, but it’s commitment that leads to the most meaningful intimacy. And with Rick, commitment which always felt so hard to embrace for me, barely feels like a choice. Rather, it reminds me of whitewater canoeing – you can ferry yourself, stressed and neurotic, around and above obstacles, constantly fighting a current which will take you to ruin on obstacles downstream. But if you put yourself in the proper channel you can release yourself to the current with little fight or need to direct yourself and you can gracefully navigate the myriad challenges that surround you. My relationship with Rick feels like this. It’s not a constant struggle to avoid ruin (even if the struggle was invigorating and exciting), it’s graceful and effortless – and it looks damn good.
I have always used rivers as metaphors in my relationships, and this is no exception. I feel so lucky to have Rick – my amazing fiance, friend, and co-pilot through rapids, and anything else we’re faced with.
Yeah, so in short postscript life ls pretty amazing. So good – life is just, plumb incredible.