I remember that dark, disgruntled moment from the cruise. My romantic partner took forever to get ready, and we were late for dinner, again. So instead of sitting at a big table and meeting lots of interesting people from our group, we sat at the only small table still available, alone.
I was reading the menu and quietly fuming when I heard the words, "May I join you?"
I looked up into the eyes of this dazzling, ravishing woman. I realize now of course there was quite a bit more to her than just her physical beauty, but my only thought at the time was, if my partner says no, I'm going to throw her off the back of the boat.
What followed was an evening of stimulating, joyous intimacy between three kindred souls. It went by in a flash, but I return to the savory memory of that evening in wonder now, as I see the great unfolding of it all. The cruise was fabulous and fun, but not the romantic energizing event my relationship needed it to be, and some months later, my partner said goodbye. I was devastated, and sad.
It was just about this time my dinner companion from that evening started e-mailing me about her move to gorgeous Santa Barbara, California. Right after, it turns out, a breakup of her own. So one of the great friendships of my life began in earnest, as we incredulously exclaimed to one another, "What kind of a fool would break up with you?"
My favorite definition of friendship is that a friend is someone who can sing the song that is in your heart when you have forgotten the words. It was clear from the start, we knew the words to each others song. So while I ached with the loss of my beloved partner, I was also called to sing. I happily accepted her invitation to come and visit.
So I did. And while we laughed, and sang, and ran along the beach, I began to notice a most curious thing. Everywhere we went, we met really nice people. Not just "Hi, isn't it a great day," but authentic, juicy souls who we connected with and shared the incredible richness of the present moment.
So I came back two weeks later for a tour of the wine country north of Santa Barbara. The experience intensified to the point of giggles. Everywhere we went we encountered more beautiful human beings and experiences, and felt a deep connection to life and to the world.
Some months later I was invited to her sister's wedding, and of course I accepted. Just before that though, I learned that my beloved, whose memory I stubbornly clung to, had already met someone else, and I was again devastated, and lost my sense of my own value and worth. So I put on a suit, pasted a smile on my face, and went to the wedding. Only now it wasn't just her singing my song to me, but her entire family, and my heartbreak was forgotten as I once again welcomed this feeling of joyous connection.
After the wedding, those of us remaining drove out into the beautiful Sonoran desert to visit some friends who couldn't travel, and it was during the evening meal with another amazing gathering of luminous beings that I began to feel like this was all my own very personal parade; a parade of princes and princesses, just for me.
I didn't see my friend again for 6 months, during which time I crawled my way uphill to try and remake a life with my ex-partner, only to end up as disappointed and alone as I was the first time. So it was with some trepidation that I accepted her invitation to visit her at a seminar in San Diego, and act as her assistant for the weekend.
During the long drive there, I began to remember about the strange and wonderful dynamic that resulted from the joining of our energies, and I firmly decided that this was all happening for a reason, and that I would surrender to the moment, and simply allow whatever it was that was about to happen, to happen. I should have known.
It was The Parade of Princes and Princesses all over again, for both of us. What marvelous, gorgeous, magnificent beings we encountered! At every turn! It was glorious.
I am home now, and so deeply grateful for this feeling of oneness, and belonging. I have decided to do all I can to remain vigilant, and bathe in this feeling of buoyant expectancy in all of the remaining moments of my life. Even though I have lived over half a century, I have this delicious feeling that my life hasn't even begun yet.
I write screenplays, and so I have decided to call the movie of my life "The Parade of Princes and Princesses," and I am the star. Autographs cheerfully given. With giggles!
How vast to be alive! I feel like a young boy on the last day of school before summer vacation, as my life stretches out before me in all of its endless possibilities. Your sun is shining and our sky is blue. It's a great day for a parade, isn't it?