Last night at the local Soup Plantation. Saying goodbye is hard, especially with these people. I met them through the didgeridoo. When I ran into Jessica (second from right) two or three years ago, she instantly validated my sense of being different. Soon after, I came to the realization that I need not waste my life trying to please people who have no interest in being pleased. If you have an outlier personality, then hang out with fellow outliers. Life treats you a lot better. Simple.

Jessica, incidentally, is a natural on the didgeridoo. Not long after meeting her, I gave her one of the didgeridoos I made for her birthday. She uses it as one of her tools in her shamanic practice. When I first met her, she was working in a flower shop. Making the transition to running your own business with no income safety net is always frightening, regardless of what type of business. Happy to say, Jessica has spread her wings, and has taken flight.

Jen, on the far right, is also a recipient of one of my didges. Two, actually. I gave her my first one – another from the small crop I made – shortly after my heart surgery. She was so thrilled, she posted a pic of her and her new didge on Facebook and made it her profile picture. Her three kids, of course, got interested. So, in the course of downsizing for my trip, it was easy to gift her the first stick I owned as a family didgeridoo. Jen’s ten-year-old girl, though, has different ideas. She’s already claimed it as her own. I love spreading the didge magic.

And in the course of sorting through my stuff, I came across a kid-size didge I had completely forgotten about. Jen’s four-year-old boy lit up when I gave it to him. Turns out he’s a natural.

Jen, incidentally, is one of the two people I dedicated my latest book to. The way she came through for me after my heart surgery and in organizing me for my journey is a story unto itself. It will come out in bits and pieces on this blog – scout’s honor.

Jen is about to engage in her own journey. She and her family are moving up to Washington state in a couple of weeks. I almost feel – well, I do feel, let’s not kid around – that we have been agents of change in each other. Funny how that happens. We create the conditions, not even aware of what is about to transpire. Bam! Something transpires. Every neuron in the brain shifts. In physics, they call it a phase transition – from one stable state to the next, ice to water.

At certain times in your life, it no longer pays to stay stuck in your current stable state. But finding your way to where you need to be is terrifying. Jen was instrumental in helping me get to where I needed to be. I like to think I helped her in some small way, as well. I’ve been joking that I will be dropping by uninvited wherever she lands in Washington. Actually, it’s no joke.

I met Ana, to my immediate right in the photo,  through Jen. There we were, last year, the three of us in her car, headed toward the desert as part of a group gathering. It was as if we’d known each other all our lives. We could have driven until we ran out of gas – the ride was that magical. So was the ride coming back.

When my heart almost stopped beating, Ana was there. One of the most pleasant experiences in my life was staying with her and her family for nearly a week. I had some serious internet work I needed to crunch out, and – with no prompting – Ana kindly offered me the use of a temporarily unoccupied room.

I got my work done. But I also got to hang out with her and her two wonderful kids. I was at her place for Christmas Eve dinner. Next day, I was with Jen, in the mountains, throwing snowballs with her kids.

Ana, needless to say, has also been a major instrument of change in my life. She doesn’t have one of my didges. It’s enough that we vibrate on the same frequency.

All too soon, it was time to go home. Major reminder: When the four-year-old throws his stuffed penguin over the buffet salads and into a line of customers. Final hugs. We all talked of meeting somewhere on the road. Not only is it doable, we want it to happen. Perhaps at one of my stops in the Southwest. Perhaps at the annual didgeridoo gathering in Oregon in early August. That’s where I plan on landing.

Jessica and Jen and Ana will be there. Hopefully, in person. Certainly in spirit.


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