Saturday, May 19, 2007

Token Things

This afternoon, when packing my suitcase (hello, procrastination) I was trying on clothes just to make sure nothing fit weird or had holes in it or something else equally as likely to surprise me when I'm thousands of miles from home, or a Super Target. As I rolled things neatly into place in my bag, I came across a strange-looking wooden token. At first, I could not figure out where this might have come from or how it got into my tote. There was some lettering on it, but it was mostly rubbed off and looked like it had spent a lot of time in someone's pocket.

I looked at the token, turned it over in my hand and searched every file in my mind about when and where I could have come across the thing. As it often does, my mind wandered, and I thought about all the traveling I've been able to do over the last year. I've been with friends and family, tasted new foods, stamped the passport, stood at the top of mountains and at the edge of the sea. I've run, I've been lazy, I've taken long drives down highways that were once only a place I'd read about. I've seen the sun rise in the East, set in the West and many places in between. I've met remarkable people, heard incredible stories and have been continuously reminded that being with people, talking with them, and connecting with them is an amazing privilege.

It is truly a small, small world and also, it is a blast. I have and have had more fun than anyone ought to be allowed. For all the reasons I feel confused or somehow lost, there are a thousand more to make me feel profoundly blessed and at peace. I can't explain how the things in my life, like work, writing, running and travel balance me. To have the opportunity to be rewarded and challenged by the life you choose is a very special thing.

The last couple months have not painted a perfect picture. There has been death, anger, sadness, strife, bad news, worse news, and many an akward moment. I thought about this as I held that token in my hand today, and the memory came back to me. The token, at least as I've known it, was laying in a crack in the sidewalk as I trapsed in front of a small shop on a humid, sunny, perfect island day. In a quiet mood and waiting for dinnertime, I bent down to pick up the token. It ended up in the pocket of my shorts and a few days later, while on a boat docked in the Caribbean, the token fell out of my pocket and onto the ground.

"You dropped this," said the man who'd been intently cleaning the boat.

"Oh, thanks. I have no idea what it is, I just picked it up the other day."

"It looks like a token... I wonder what it will buy?"

We laughed a little, and joked a lot about what you could get "these days" for a token. We talked for a while but never seemed to come to any real conclusion, though I do remember laughing for a good twenty minutes about the hilarity of the word "squall." (Say it a lot of times, you'll laugh too.)

Though I still don't know what that token was meant to buy, for me, today, it bought a memory. So I'll take it with me on this trip, too. With any luck, it will buy a hundred more.

******************

I'll be away for the next couple weeks doing the token Caribbean things: sitting, watching, sailing, snorkeling, thinking, breathing... you know. There is a chance, if I take advantage of some friends, that I'll be able to post a bit while I'm away. I know that if I spend twenty minutes laughing about random weather terminology, my bloggie friends are going to want to know, right?

Heh.

So anyway, I'm off for now. Thanks for taking the time to come to my blog, both new and "old" alike. That human connection thing I was talking about earlier? Yeah, that includes you. And you... and yes, even YOU.

21 comments:

singleton said...

Oh girl, have a blast. Laugh, run, dance, be free! Perfect timing your little token had, waiting to be found! Love it!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I hope your token continues to buy you many precious memories.

Have a glorious vacation!

Bre said...

You're going to need to have double the amount of fun - fun for you AND fun for me... I'm living vicariously through your vacation! :)

GirlGoyle said...

Travel safe and I look forward to your token photos.

Backofpack said...

Have a wonderful, fabulous, stunning trip. We'll still be hanging around when you get back.

Dawn said...

Two weeks?!! *harrumph*

Okay, okay...have fun!

justacoolcat said...

Token comment.

Hahahahaha

I hope you are having more fun that you deserve.(which is a lot of fun)

sue said...

I'm so jealous...
Oh, and I hope the token brings you luck. Ours only bring car washes. :)
See ya when you come back!

Danielle said...

I'm so incredibly jealous of you...I want to be on an island somewhere!

brandy said...

Have an awesome time!! I can't wait to hear the stories when you get back. Wear sunscreen!

Sempre Libera said...

Sounds to me like you're following all the right "rules." Have a wonderful time!

Ginger Breadman said...

What a cool story about the life of a token and what it can bring. I've missed reading your blog. Have a great vacation, and please post while you're away!

Celina said...

I know you'll have a fantastic time!! I can't wait to get to "that point" in my life where I can take trips "whenever!" As for your token, I love stories like that, so thank you for sharing!! Take lots of pics for us!!

skinnylittleblonde said...

I love, love, love this post!
Just a beautiful, thoughtful writing. I love it.
Have a good time & please come back and share some token memeories with us!

Sizzle said...

have a fantastic trip. :)

runliarun said...

Oh, it's best not to strive to be perfect, but whole. And such with life too. Without the sadness and anger and death life would be incomplete, because all those things are part of life. And we deal with them as best we can. And they make the good moments so much more wonderful. For there is no light without shadow.

Oh, and your life sounds so glamorous and cosmopolitan :).

egan said...

Have a great trip and don't think about any of us on your trip.

Nicole said...

I hope you find another lucky token with many memories to boot.

Sister Buckle said...

Wow!
That 'token' illustration was wonderful.

Please forgive my spasmodic presence - I'm getting back in the swing of things now and I'm really looking forward to living vicariously through your beautiful holiday!

Great boat! I agree - that's hot.

Michelle said...

I hope to one day be able to travel just like you...

Kurt said...

I hope you had a blast on your vacation. Traveling is so much fun!