Monday, September 17, 2007

Sometimes More Than Others

On my recent trip to Mexico, we signed up for one of those guided tours. Not the kind where they stamp your hand and shuffle you through like cattle but certainly the kind that you take when you're in a foreign country and you want to go through the jungle without getting eaten by jungle creatures, lost, or worse, be out so late you miss the Red Sox game.

Through some streak of luck, reservation confusion and the magic that is "Mexican Time" (which is just like Island Time for any who may be more familiar with that concept; believe me when I say EXACT SAME THING), we ended up on a smaller, later starting tour with only four other people. And our guide, who was this hilarious self-proclaimed Mexican-American who immediately made you feel that even if you hadn't ever been to camp as a kid and had the "cool counselor" that the next six hours were going to totally make up for anything you might have missed. "I have a Mexican girlfriend now," he said, "I had a Dominican girlfriend before. And all that means is now instead of everyone getting their ass kicked, it's now just me." This is how the day started.

As we went on our hiking/biking/snorkeling/zip lining adventure, each activity became more fun than the last. Also, being in a very small group, we had a ton of time for a lot of "extras" that wouldn't otherwise occur. At one point our group was having a really hard time deciding if we wanted to eat, float in a cenote or drink beer first. "Float, eat, drink," I told our guide. "Dang, are you single," he asked, though it was more of a statement than a question. All I could say was "let's not go there." Sure, a little retro but I was serious. We did not need to go there.

Which sort of brings me to my point, the point of all this. There was a moment, when I stood at the top of a tower that was something like a billion feet in the air, looked at the three hundred sixty degrees of jungle canopy around us, took a deep breath and lifted my feet off the platform and felt, without any doubt, that there was no other place I would have rather been on Earth. Think about that for a minute; that feeling of knowing you are one hundred percent right where you think you ought to be. I didn't need anything else. I needed no one else around me. I wasn't anything but right there.

I felt a similar feeling when I walked in the door tonight. It's been drizzly and rainy all day. I'm still getting over this cold and the feeling that my head weighs sixteen pounds. I let the dog out, kicked off my shoes, and put on my slippers and a sweatshirt. I put the teapot on the stove and while I waited for the water to boil, I sat down at my table and looked out onto the patio and thought, this is good. It is good, like that zip line in Mexico. But with one difference, I really would have liked to have someone sitting at the table with me. At least once in a while.

22 comments:

Amanda said...

I think nature is a great way to feel relaxed and truly connected with yourself... I also find that a small ritual like a sunday curled up with a book and a warm cup of cocoa in the winter can do that too... or a really great run.

Ok fine, it can happen anywhere, I just never know when it will, but when it does it's amazing.

Database Diva said...

Think about that for a minute; that feeling of knowing you are one hundred percent right where you think you ought to be. I didn't need anything else. I needed no one else around me. I wasn't anything but right there.

The great thing about getting older is that these moments become more and more frequent. It takes the sting out of gray hair, wrinkles and "saggy stuff".

As for someone at the table, I would totally teach the dog to sit on a chair. He/she will do a better job of pretending to listen, will never complain about what is served, and will gladly make sure all of the dishes are clean before they go in the dishwasher. Best of all, on the other 6 nights of the week when you really prefer to be alone, you can ignore the dog without offending anyone.

justrun said...

Amanda- you are right, that can happen just about any time.

diva- that is why I adore you!

AaroN said...

I had to share your story with my neighbor here at work, who is Dominican. He laughed his ass off. (And the guy that sits on the other side of us has a Mexican girlfriend. You don't know how true that statement is!) :D

And I know exactly what you mean. I felt that same feeling on Mount Rainier. I believe I was a mountaineer born into the wrong climate. :(

justrun said...

aaron- He did sound like he knew what he was talking about!

e.b. said...

It will come, that other person, they will be there. I know it!

Sizzle said...

ah yes. i know that feeling.

justacoolcat said...

I love that feeling. I know it's cleche and all, but your time will come to share it with the right person.

Also, I hope your sniffles are gone.

runliarun said...

Your certainty amazes me sometimes.

appletini said...

I know exactly what you mean by "Mexican time"....it's my mother's most consistent trait :)

Mexico was awesome though, wasn't it?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I cannot attest to the feeling of being at one with the world whilst on a zipline above a canpoy of trees, sadly, but I understand completely about the feeling of arriving home.

Damn, now I want to leave work early and try it.

Grundir the Implacable said...

You should try soaring over Gondor on a winged steed sometime. I'm just sayin'.

sue said...

As a bit "older" woman... I like Diva's answer. ;)

Ginger Breadman said...

I love your description of 'living in the moment' - it's the stuff that more stories in life should be made of. You'd like Peaceful Warrior by Dann Millman. (or just watch the movie)

Your Mexico photos are truly beautiful!

Sempre Libera said...

I am always on Mexican time... I think it's genetic :-)

Glad to hear you had a wonderful time! You'll find someone to share these moments with soon enough, but in the meantime just keep enjoying them as you do already!

Jen said...

it is so great to be exactly where you need to be and actually realize and enjoy it! Someday you'll share this and hopefully again be exactly where you need to be.

OC said...

I love those moments when you just feel like everything is right. Even if it felt like something (or someone) was missing... you still had a moment of good - with no one else. Imagine how much better it will be once there is someone - the right someone - there with you.

Yeah, don't look at me for advice on that one though. It sounds promising, though.

Nat said...

It's an amazing trait believe it or not to be able to recognize when you are "right where you want to be." It's one of the things I'm grateful I know how to recognize. A lot of people fail to see it or don't take the time to think about it! Hope you're feeling better.

brookem said...

your trip, that zip line? sounds amazing. and equally amazing is that feeling that you are exactly where you want to be. i hear you about the table person.
and i just called them a table person, but i think you'll get my point.

Ames said...

How awesome to have that moment on rightness, it's something I think I'm always looking for. Sounds like you had a brilliant trip. Keep racking up the stories so you have more to share when you find that person.

brandy said...

Loved this! I think that moment, the second of feeling completly... satisifed with your life and your place in it, is what propels us to keep going when things are hazy and you are unsure. At least, that's what it does for me. I'm glad you posted this, it will be a good reminder to come back and look upon.

Danielle said...

Ah, that sounds so nice...

I know the feeling of wanting someone where once in a while, and at the same time, I like my life...so I'm not sure which I would prefer.