Thanksgiving of 1977, and my Latino boyfriend was visiting from California. We had met earlier that year while I summered with my oldest sister. From the day we met by the California poolside, we had tumbled into an intensely serious relationship. On this visit, Leo had come to ask my parents if he could marry me. We knew it would be a few years before that happened, but we were both hell-bent on moving things along quickly. I suspect my urgency to "move forward" had much to do with the want to run away, far away. Along with the marriage announcement, my extremely independent spirit told my parents I would travel to Venezuela for Christmas with Leo. I also boldly stated, "by the way, could you please pay for it?" The audacity of my seventeen-year-old self still blows me away. It never dawned on me that an unchaperoned, under-aged girl traveling with an adult man to another country would be a cause for eyebrows to rise. It was the beginning of my exodus. Upon arriving in Venezuela, all of my senses were overwhelmed with the foreignness of it all. Disembarking from our eight-hour overnight flight onto the tarmac was like being thrown into a hot steam room filled with the scent of rotting bananas while everyone was babbling in a foreign tongue. It took all of my willpower not to vomit. Compared to my home in Utah, I felt like I had just landed on another planet. My young mind's romantic notions for my trip to South America were so naïve, and the days ahead would prove that I had indeed entered uncharted territory. Within a few days of arriving, Leo's father suffered a stroke. We spent our days in vigilance at Centro Medico while a stream of friends and family came by to offer their love and support. I, the very naive and immature little girl, sat in silence while I felt the pain of what I was watching. Leo was overwhelmed with worry and regret, his siblings were navigating their pain, and his mother was distraught. The hospital gatherings were intense and loud, and I had no idea what anyone was saying. Several times during these days I would try and engage with a joke or a little Ginger silliness only to be reprimanded for those actions. I was at a loss, I didn't know how to interact in this situation, this family, this place, this country, and I did not understand the rules of engagement. A stranger in a strange place, the sense of profound loss and separation once again permeated my young being. At the tender age of seventeen, I felt like I had lived a thousand years. There wasn't a specific event that I could point to or blame for my emotional heaviness: or was it spiritual heaviness and disconnect? It had always just been there. I now felt terrified as I lay there in the middle of the night, breathing the heaviness of the tropical air, wondering why happiness always seemed to elude me. I had believed that it would somehow be different if I traveled far enough away from my "normal" life, but here it is again, the sadness swirling around me. I clutched my bible and began to pray a deep, mournful prayer. I was pleading to know the will of God to be shown, for the healing of this man that I would never know, and for the salvation of my sorrowful internal existence. Sometime during my tears and pleas, I slipped into a sleep state, only to wake, standing at the open window, staring into the night sky with tears pouring down my face. I felt and actually saw a white light beaming in the window and surrounding me. I was in a nonverbal and verbal communion with the Divine. I was speaking out loud in a language I did not intellectually understand but that my heart and soul understood. And I was receiving unspoken information and unconditional love. I became extremely disoriented and scared when I realized I was standing there and didn't remember how I got to the window. My logical mind took over; I was so frightened that I ventured into the dark house to find Leo to tell him I was scared. I never told him what happened, and I shoved that experience way down into my psyche. Yet something shifted in me that night. I don't have words to express the shift, but I know it was about remembering. Reflecting on those days and that night, I understand it was a Divine Intervention. During the window moment, I remembered who I truly am. I now allow myself to remember more often that there is an aspect of me always in communion with the Divine, using verbal and nonverbal communication that the heart and soul understand. I have also become accustomed to allowing light language to express itself through me during my communion with the Divine. Today I Know that a sense of profound loss and separation is a yearning to go home to the exquisite communion with the Creator and the essence of Divinity, which can be found within your inner sanctuary.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29
, As always, I am Loving you with OPEN ARMS, Virginia Adams, AKA Ginger