I have returned sun-kissed and wonderfully tired from a weekend spent with my amazing community. Jason and Devon have a cabin that they generously open up to their crazy friends. This year, however...a present awaited us. Our friends, Tice and Niki returned from NYC and surprised us all. Oh that moment when we first saw them, I'll never forget it. They came sauntering casually up the beach as though Poseidon himself had picked them up in New York and set them down to rest in the Puget Sound. Their appearance simply made the weekend.
I'm not sure I've fully conveyed what a tightly knit group of friends I have in Seattle...it was enough to keep us in the area last year when we were crazy enough to think about moving to Florida. Niki commented several times throughout the two years of their absence on how impossible it was to find the same kind of connections. Everywhere I go, everyone I talk to...no one has what we all have. It's by no means perfect, and we keep loosing them (Kelly and Brad!) but I am so incredibly aware of how they continually enrich and challenge my personal growth...that, and we have a shit-ton of fun together. Friends are paramount.
Last year at this same cabin which sits on a small island in the Puget Sound, I had a morning where the sea was calling me. I was sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee and Sylvia Plath (see this picture) and quite suddenly I found myself walking into the water, pajamas and all. I didn't realize until this year what the significance of the event meant, but as I stared at the sea with my mysterious Ben this last weekend, I realized that this water had baptized me. Last year, I submerged myself an emotional invalid, but as I was raised out of the water, I had reemerged as a care-giver.
Being the youngest of four, and having somewhat problematic relationships with females in the past, I had come to believe that I was no good at caring for people. However, if anything has come from the last few months with my sister and friends, it's been that I am realizing for the first time my own immense strength. It's truly amazing what you can do when you have to. I feel birthed in empowerment. I never relish people needing me, for their sake or mine, but lately, I've been able not only to handle it, but to come to rely upon my internal strength beyond what I ever knew possible. Through the thoughts and prayers and goodwill of those who love me, I've found a capable woman. I feel this to be such an important milestone as I enter what will be my childbearing and childrearing years. The process of becoming, just becoming Candace, moves me with hope and sentiment.