Making Connections

Jerry_ShadowLanas small.jpg

Autumn leaves are piling up, the temperature is dropping, and the cool sun is low in the sky creating long shadows and extended golden-hours. This is my hubby’s favorite time of year and in celebration we packed up our VW van and headed to Oregon to visit family, do some wine tasting in the gorgeous Willamette Valley, and drive up the coast to soak up the views and salt air and take some much needed downtime.

Something about the ocean calls to me deep in my being. It’s my sanctuary, the place I feel most grounded and content, all of my senses stimulated - but not overwhelmed. I never tire of the sound of the surf and seagulls, the play of light on the wet sand, the smell of seaweed and salt. I could get used to waking up at the ocean every morning.

We stayed right on the edge of the beach in a bibliophile’s house, stacks of books on all surfaces. Poetry mainly, because she’s a writer as well as a publisher with a focus on poetry collections. We connected because my artwork spoke to her and one of her authors a few years ago (Amy MacLennan’s book: The Body, A Tree) and then again recently to a new author (thrilled that my artwork will grace Joseph Powell’s powerful collection: The Slow Subtraction: A.L.S.).

SlowSubtractionALS_Powell cover.jpeg

We’d never met in person, and yet she opened her home to us, because through our written and visual art we felt a deep connection. (Her publishing company is called MoonPath Press - so how could I resist?!) And of course meeting her in person felt like I was getting together with an old friend.

This has happened to me over the years - connections that felt immediate, my gut telling me to leap forward, to seize the opportunity, to choose connection over my fear of rejection. Of course, there are times when my fears win out, or the timing is off, and the connection is lost. However, when I follow my gut it’s lead to life-long friendships:

  • The woman I met at a party in college, within minutes asking her to be a roommate - we’ve remained dear friends for nearly 40 years.

  • The couple we met on our honeymoon who we asked to join our table and then I spontaneously invited them to stay at our house before their flight back to The Netherlands - we see each other (on one side of the ocean or other) every year.

  • The woman I met on-line way back when we started our blogs who is now one of my favorite travel partners, even though she lives on the other side of the world.

  • The woman I met at the Oregon coast last year - both of us traveling solo - who braved side-ways rain and wind to sit outside with me under the eves drinking wine, eating dinner and talking well into the evening (while all non-crazy people ran inside). I wonder where this friendship will lead?

Have you met people who you feel an immediate connection with? Do you tend to leap forward and seize the opportunity to connect? Or does fear of rejection hold you back?

I would love to hear your stories - please leave a comment below!