On the last leg of my travel I had a flight delayed, cancelled, rescheduled and was given a new seat - a seat next to Barbara the Buddhist. I meet these embodied women every now and again. It seems like I meet them in transition right when I need someone to remind me that
you got this,
This woman was named Barbara and she’s a Buddhists. We initially connected over our disdain for United Airlines, she was could believe they charged $15 for Ramen and I could believe how many times they advertised Credit Cards before we even took off!
“It’s cancer!” she said. “It’s taking over and we can’t breathe! I’m ready to be home....sorry if I’m ranting.”
I said “You are ranting, but it’s all true.”
She smiled and somehow we continued to talk for the entire hour and a half flight. She grew up out west and it’s home, it’ll always be home but she met a man when she was 19 traveling Africa by bus and decided to drop out of med school and move to Mississippi to be with him.
“We had to get married because in those days his mom wouldn’t of spoken to me unless we were married....sinners! I wasn’t really into marriage so I said why don’t we get married in Tijuana? My thinking was we say we’re married but in 2 years when it doesn’t work out we wouldn’t have to deal with all those legal fees. So we got married and when I met his mother she asked “are you pregnant or something?” That’s was my Mother-In-Law.”
Barbara told me that they did get back to the west after raising their 3 children, buying a 14 acre farm near Mt. Shasta.
“I was home. I haven't exhaled as deeply as I did there. I still miss it everyday.”
They moved to Western North Carolina last year to be near their Son and Granddaughter.
“This isn’t home but when I see my husband, then I’ll be home"
Over the hour and a half flight we talked about the vast lands of the west and the contrast of the east, we talked about marriage and children, we talked about mayan abdominal massage and the importance of lineage. I was so refreshed by her openness, honesty and vulnerability. One of my favorite things she shared with me was from a buddhist quote talking about how we are falling all the time but there’s nothing to land on.
"We just have to get use to free falling because that is life, impermanence.” She followed by saying “Don’t be afraid to fail. Let me help you by getting this over with, you’re gonna fail. You’re gonna fail BIG TIME. And it’s ok. You’ll working thru it and get over it. That’s where the learning happens."