Friday, August 10, 2012

Wanderlust to Wonderlove

I arrived last night to a balmy Fijian tropical hug. I was so in heaven. I changed into the summer dress that never saw the light of day in Oz, and went for a walk. I got sweaty and sticky and I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to return to the hotel for a dip in the pool.

Chilly. Wet. A down pour of water, and I am miles from the ocean.  This morning, Fiji is showing me her other side. Just a bit of me is wishing I was back in Oz on one of the many gorgeous beach walks I enjoyed almost daily.

As I walked to the market, I saw children getting off the bus to go to school. All girls in their uniforms, navy plaid  dresses with white blouses, not so eagerly heading into school on a rainy day. Two sisters seemed to be arguing over who got the rainbow striped umbrella, the smaller one unable to suppress a giggle as the bigger sister snatched it away with a growl. I followed suit with the smaller, and my heart swelled at the feeling of having the gift of sisters in my life.  Then I noticed a Baba getting off the bus behind his sweet charge, silently ushering his little girl with outstretched arms, ready to catch her in case she slipped in the rain. My heart swelled again, and this time a tear fell.

I don’t know where to begin, yet my heart is full, that’s when I know it’s time to write. 

Here’s the truth. I went to Australia to find love.  It didn’t happen. I’ve had loads of time to think about it and now I realize how desperate I was for it. I got promised the whole package: happiness, babies, support- the good life.  I came knowing that the person I wanted to fall in love with, really cared about me-yet, in the end, we just did not truly accept each other. I think we both just hoped the pieces would fall into place once we were face to face, and crushingly, the opposite happened, it fell to pieces.

Yet, as always, I am blessed with wonderful friends.  I have been spoiled rotten!  Visits to national parks. Strolls along gorgeous beaches. Tastes of carefully screened GF delights. Breakfasts, lunch, and dinners…all punctuated by delicious espresso and new friendships. Over the top Go Go dancing, yogic karma cleaning & kirtaning,  mind shocking mentalist performing, bone chilling seal diving, tea toting footie watching and my favorite…making delicious dinners with friends.  The love rained down on me.

During my time in Oz, I spent two weeks at an ashram.  My time there was short, yet precious. I gained insights into myself, while working daily at my given tasks. I was reminded at how much I like physical work. How it emboldens me to feel strong, capable, and purposeful. I was also reminded how much I sought approval from others for a job well done, or comments on how hard I worked. There were times when I received such accolades for my dedication to a task, yet usually from other guests, and not from the residents of the ashram. At the ashram, they try to impart that living a life without attachment to approval, or for that matter disapproval, can bring contentment for self, and thus peace. 

In the guest book found in each room, are listed the tenants by which those who follow this sect of yoga believe in.  After the listed tenants were some reminders of why people come to ashrams, and in one case particularly, as it pertains to behavior. It gently reminded couples to think carefully of how they display there affections, concluding with:
    We are here to find love from ourselves, not to seek it from others.


It was a soothing reminder to read nightly at the ashram. It became my mantra.
    I love you, Korynne. Love myself. I love me.

Often, I would repeat this to myself as I worked. I would repeat it when any sadness emerged at the love I had hoped to gain. I would repeat it, and often laugh at how silly I felt trying to win myself over. Other times, I would just feel like an idiot. I would shake my head and feel myself to be a lunatic, easily wiping away the love I sought to build up in myself.  As we say in yoga, I was building a new practice, and practice I must. And as with most new practices, it was tough, filled with highs and lows.  Yet, I was blessed to be in a space that encouraged self study, and its routines proved ample time for me to delve into this new love affair.

After leaving the ashram, I missed it greatly. I missed the daily routines of asana, chanting, working, meditation, and silence.  I told myself I would not let it all go. I would practice at least one aspect of ashram life daily, back out in the world.

Well, I didn’t. I accepted excuses on behalf of myself: no time, no where private, rarely alone, etc etc. What I did not quiet understand at the time, yet becomes clear to me now, was this: What I missed was the practice of getting to know myself, and therefore learning how to love myself.


As many of you know, I often misplace things. This talent is heightened while traveling, when I am in a new place, and lack a routine or place to put my things. While driving down the coast with an extraordinarily patient friend, I threw a tantrum because I had misplace my phone.  This was nothing new, I had misplaced, and then found something daily on this trip, yet I took this event as a personal failure.

We were in the car, and I couldn’t find my phone to take down the number of a possible place of accommodation. I stopped the car and started searching. I also started cussing. My anger at myself grew and grew.  I was exploding with self hate. I started muttering and yelling at myself.  How stupid can a person be to lose the phone while in the car!?? It must be in here somewhere!!! Did it fall out!? Did I leave it back at the hotel?  I am so sick of myself!! What the #@$* is wrong with me!? Arrghhhh!!!!

My dear friend gently tried to assure me and help me find my phone, yet nothing she could say or do could calm my anger at myself.  At the height of my berserk, I thought to ask my friend to call my phone, dawning on me that if it were in the car, we would hear it.

She did. It rang. I felt relived and stupid all at the same time. I apologized to my friend for acting like a psycho, she Aussied it away with a kind, “No worries.”

Yet, it never dawned on me to apologize to myself.

I had lost my practice of self love. Without daily practice, I fell unconsciously back into my old habits. Even though I would often feel silly, telling myself I love you, it was working to break the habit I have of jumping all over myself for simple daily occurrences.  Many of us do this to ourselves, berate ourselves over something trivial. Yet, how deep does it run? If I am willing to cuss myself out over misplacing my phone, what am I willing to do when I say something that hurts a friend? Deny myself that friendship? Or make a mistake in my job? Tell myself I am not good enough or don’t deserve it?

While at the ashram, I was fortunate to be there at a very auspicious time, during Guru Poornima- a new year celebration. Many beautiful rituals were held during the full moon that included chanting, meditation, singing and fire offerings, all towards honoring the guru. During a fire ritual, we were invited to make an offering, or a promise to ourselves and to then use it as a mantra. The idea sprang quite quickly, and I chose to keep my heart open. For me, at that time, I was a bit worried I would put up walls and close off myself from opening up my heart to another. I was consciously working at not berating myself for coming to Australia for a dude. Yet, it was much harder to honor my efforts towards being part of a partnership. It was still in the stages of an untested roller coaster ride.

Again, after leaving an environment that fostered personal growth, putting into practice what I had begun proved difficult for me. Although Australia has its unique cultural ways, I felt less like I was traveling out of the US, and more like I was visiting friends. I did many of the things I would have done at home, with my friends, yet with the twinkle of the Southern Cross guiding each adventure. Hence, there was not much to challenge my belief structure beyond paying $18.00 for a bacon and egg brekkie. And so, loving myself while keeping my heart open were far from my mind when a mate would ask, “How you going?”

Arriving in Fiji set my heart loose again.

Something about seeing people doing everyday things, things that I see and do at home, yet knowing that making it all happen takes ten times the effort, does something to the heart. For instance, keeping the school uniform- the one, neat and clean without running water in your house or electricity. Or, like Carolina who I met at the market, she holds three jobs, working 80-90 hour weeks without a day off. Today she shared with me that she is going to go to restaurants with her produce to see if she can get regular clients, since there are many that sell the same produce at the markets.  She is so busy, yet still offered to take some time today to show me around. So many of the people here, work so much harder, yet still have their hearts open.

Or perhaps it was mother nature in her brilliance,showing me both the sunny side that is easily loved and then the dark and cloudy side that takes more energy to love. Her storming outside was forcing me to look at why I storm inside.  The gray and darken skies require no shading of the eyes and with nothing to hide behind, I could look inward. I am forced to stay put, in order to stay dry. As I strip off the summer dress and rug up with my warming Ozzie threads, I am brought back to my time at the ashram, where introspection was invited, welcomed, and cherished.

It hasn’t even been 24 hours here, and I already feel my heart pulsing its mantra:  I will keep open. I love myself.  I love me. I have an open heart to others. I am worth loving.

I love you Korynne!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Raisin Dig

Sometimes my dig in-edness can get in the way.

Today, I was looking forward to walking down to my local swanky newly established hang-your-bike-on-the-wall-no-hipster-approval-needed-but-yes-we-are-truly-hipster-coffee shop.

Displayed on a beautiful glass cake pedestal, lusciously sliced pumpkin bread with chocolate chips…and I believed raisins. I had ordered the same temptress slice a month before on my maiden voyage to the shop, where I had been sordidly let down to bite down on a gooshy gummy raisin amidst my moistly slightly spiced sweet bread. I grumbled, yet ate around the raisins and enjoyed the chocolaty pumpkin while chatting and sipping my coffee.

Poised to be validated while embracing the full disappointment for not getting to indulge in a treat with my coffee, I ask the barista if there are raisins in the pumpkin bread.

Nope. They are all chocolate chips.

I begin the dig.

No, I am pretty sure that those are raisins in there. That one looks like a raisin. If you give me a fork, I could pull it out and show you.

I look up to see the barista looking a little taken a back, casting a quick sideways glance at her co-worker. He is standing next to me on the same side of the counter, cleaning up. He peers into the cake glass, makes a conciliatory nod at me and pipes in.

Yes, there are no raisins in the pumpkin bread. Those are all chocolate chips.

I dig in.

Hmm…You’re sure? No? Well, I am going to wait to order until my friend arrives.

My friend arrives and we return to the counter and the pumpkin bread.

I dig on.

Well, I was here before and there were raisins. I just can’t stand raisins. Did you ever see that movie? Benny & Joon? That said it all for me. The scene were she says how raisins used to be plump sweet shinny grapes, and now…well it’s like their dignity was just sucked out of them, and I totally agree. Do you know that scene? Yeah? No? Well, I just think raisins are sad and…..

Dig this. The friend that I was meeting, I notice that she too, is nodding conciliatory- yet I can’t stop digging.

I’m a baker, so I can tell they are raisins.

Even with the music piping through the cafĂ©, it gets silent for a second. I realize the particular friend I am with, grew up in a bakery- her parents are bakers, hence a more authentic claim to the baker-ship, should be made by her. Er, uh…could be made, had she ever found herself in a situation where the baker card needed to be played, like I had just. Found. Myself in… I take the hint, and do my best to casually move from awkward dried grape talk to coffee talk. I get friendly reminiscing with a different barista and we get my half caff pour over specially made coffee pour moi and head towards the sidewalk tables to enjoy the sun.

As I pause to pick up my keys from the window seat where I had been waiting, I notice that the man sitting nearby had succumbed to scrumptious, and had ordered the pumpkin cake with chocolate and raisins.

Are there raisins in there? They said there wasn’t, but I had ordered it before and there were, so I didn’t get it. I don’t like raisins. They’re gross.

The customer chuckles and affirms that indeed, there are no raisins.

I’ve had four bites, and no raisins. Just chocolate.

I am thinking, yeah- just you wait. And I continue to hollowly dig out the truth while my friend continues to walk outside.

Well, they said that last time, and low and behold...there were raisins. Carry on! Good luck.

I start to walk away and stop this ridiculous inquiry when I assert my right to dig in deep.

Could you maybe tap on the window and give me a thumbs up if when you finish it there are no raisins? You know, just to be safe?

As if raisins now poise a danger? Could I be dangerously wrong???? HA! Laughable. I walked out to join my waiting friend, confident I had not just dug a tunnel to China. Surely he would never tap on the window, and shatter my illusions of a shallow dig.

And he never did tap on the window.

Dig –dig- diggidy do!!

Instead, he kindly walked outside to politely and happily inform me that I could go ahead and order a slice because there was not one raisin in the entire slice! Wasn’t that great!?

I smiled. Nodded and thanked him and dug on.

Amateur, I thought…not in your slice.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Moment of Decision

Life continues to teach me that asking for help is the way to go.

Sometimes, it is something basic like asking someone to pick me up from the airport, or listening to me unload my frustrations. Other times it is heavier and or a more serious nature, like asking for prayers or assistance for a friend battling with cancer.

As this is not life or death, it falls somewhere in the middle.

Many of you already know that I have put my house on the market to sell in a short sale. I have amazing realtors who are working very hard on my behalf. Unfortunately, while we were in the middle of turning in paperwork for a short sale, the bank decided to foreclose.

It's odd for me to feel embarrassed, (hopefully a chuckle escapes from some of you) yet this situation has made me feel like a failure, and I am embarrassed that this is happening in my life. Many of you know, that I take pride in how I use my money, and my ability to save it-yet, this big ugly thing is happening anyway. Yet, I made decisions with my eyes wide open, that I thought were 'best' and made the most sense, and yet now I feel lost and hurt.

The days I found out that my house was really no longer my house, I was on the first ever Headley-mother-daughter-sister vacation in San Diego. My poor mom and sister, tried to be supportive, yet I was just hurt, lost, mad, and couldn't roll up in a ball and hide.

The Friday morning that I finally understood what was going on, I sat in the hotel room in front of the computer, and could not hold back the tears. I was trying to be silent, just quietly wipe them away without bringing attention to myself, than perhaps my mom and sister would not notice, and I could pull it back together so that we could get on our way and have fun!

My mom and sister, respectfully tried to give me sideways hugs and whispers of support to show that they had 'not noticed' yet wanted me to know how much they loved me anyway.

A bit later, I look over to see my sister hugging and comforting my mom, because she could not hold back her tears at my pain.

That was a moment for me.

To be reminded of how much love I do have, no matter the difficulties I face- NOTHING will be insurmountable in life because I have LOVE.

We all hugged each other, my sister and mom telling me that they love me and will help.

In fact, the people I have already shared this with, have all responded similarly, "Everything works out for you. You are loved by many."

And it's true.

As this continues, my realtors are battling. Right now, thanks to my realtors- there is a chance to turn the foreclosure around and continue the short sale.

I refuse to feel powerless. After all, I AM LOVED.

So, I invite you to increase this power, and today- after you finish reading this- if you will take a moment, a minute or two, to simply send your love and power to those who are making the decision to overturn the foreclosure , to DO IT! To fill their mind with overturning the foreclosure, and allowing me and my realtor to continue a short sale, all thru the power of love.

IF, you have or know of somebody that works for Citimortage or Feddie Mac, then please consider passing on their contact information to me, so that I can enlist their abilities to turn this around.

As Yuri Mishima wrote in Way of the Samurai, "One may choose a course of action, but one may not always choose the time. The moment of decision looms in the distance and then overtakes you. Then is to live not to prepare for the moment of decision?"

I have read and shared this often this year. That moment of decision is out there, looming. I choose to prepare for it by asking for help, knowing that great things, miraculous things, are achieved by the power of many, by the asking of one.

I am loved. I am prepared for what happens and know it will come out in the wash in the end, because I am loved.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


This is big. I can feel it welling up in my chest, ready to break through. I sit still sometimes and just let it pulse. Other times, I blast the music and dance and leap through the kitchen until I am laughing at my own inability to keep the energy from overwhelming me.

I keep wondering how long I can keep it at bay until I figure it out. Name it. Tag it and bag it.

Will it lead me to a new city? Will it break my heart as to let it grow?

I figure it must be a job. Well, not just a job- but a career that will allow my passions and talents to cohabitate in blissful and synergistic prose. Prose that inspires, motivates and actuates into action that brings about needed change, growth, and rejuvenation.

Then I find myself shaking my head and chuckling at my dramatic musings.

And yet…my soul is awakening.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I put in an application last night for a Denver environmental nonprofit. It was horrible. I sat in front the computer for hours, staring at the existing resume that I have and wondered how to tweak it as to make the hiring personnel leap out of their chairs with joy at finding a candidate so perfect for their needs.

Brain dead and tight jawed- having missed yoga class by 13 minutes, I walked out of the office at my friend’s and insisted we watch some trash TV and finish off the chocolate turtles. After a numbing and yummy hour, I had lost interest in attending the next yoga class, complacent to keep my asana on the couch.

Thanks to John’s chiding, I dragged myself off the couch and rolled into my sleeping bag coat and headed out the door on what threatened to be the first snowfall since my move. It was cold, yet it had rained little, and thankfully there seemed to be no ice on the ground. My car was so cold I pretended to smoke each finger into reluctant warmth.

Upon arrival at the studio, I was warmly greeted by the owner/teacher who had me write my name down in the class log. As I started to walk away, I realized that perhaps I had initially signed up under my full name, versus Kory. I turned and gave her my birth name, at which she complemented its beauty and unique spelling. Embarrassed yet pleased, I explained that I loved it as well, and was trying to reclaim it to establish my roots in this new city.

I continued down the hall to the classroom contemplating how raw it felt to be in a new place with nothing but uncertainties lighting my path. As I entered and scanned for a place to lay my mat, there seemed to be only a spot in the front row. Sighing, yet accepting that I would not be able to hide in the back- I rolled out my mat quietly and began to warm up my ankles. Shortly there after Desi, walked in to begin class.

She started with few announcements about upcoming events and then went into a major announcement that the studio had found a new home and would be moving. She shared the experience of putting in an offer, how other more attractive ones had come, and how the owner chose them in the end. She then went on to share how home would be the guiding theme of our class.

As we lifted into Downward Dog and began to move in and out of different asanas, she weaved in and out of metaphors or anecdotes about home. How we can find home in ourselves, in our poses, even amongst discord. She sketched a vision of our bodies in motion without commotion, finding the ability to stay still even as we moved into a difficult pose. I found my leg shaking from exhaustion from which I was gratefully guided to a new position, one in which I found freedom from weakness and grace in strength.

"That's it, Korynne.”

It was the sound of home. The voice of love and acceptance. Family.

Throughout the rest of class, she used my name three or four more times. I tried poses I had never attempted before, and was shocked at my ability. As she continued to weave stories around our arms and legs, tears kept leaping to my eyes as she said the words I needed to hear about home while calling to me by my family name.

One at a time, little by little each worry and doubt about moving was replaced.

“Open the shoulder, bringing space to the heart.” I would find a job.

“Take your hand to the outside of your leg. It’s okay if you need a block, yet try first without one.” Accept help offered from friends.

“Turn the foot out at an angle, that will allow space for you to move.” I would find a place to live.

And then Desi told of a monk that taught her a valuable mantra. He said that as you step forward with one foot, one should say to oneself, “I have arrived.” And then once the other foot has joined it, “I am home.”

My mind quieted. A chord struck in my heart reverberating throughout my soul. It began repeating the mantra. With each breath of movement I repeated this mantra silently to myself, alternating between arriving and home, until they blended into one feeling of peace.

It is more often than not, that just at the point of giving up or giving in, if we just take one more step forward we will receive what is needed.

I have arrived.

I am home.

Monday, October 11, 2010


The journey of a lifetime has ended and I am back. Home, in the most literal sense, as I type these words from the Laura Ashley Doll room of my teenage years, I can’t help but to lament.

Living at my parents now for just over 30 days and I am starting to feel like I have done something wrong. Made a mistake. Joined the League of Losers that can’t take care and throw themselves onto the only people that will take pity upon them, parents.

I somehow feel redundant. I have done this before and I am not supposed to be doing it again. Like the snippets of conversation I overheard in a public restroom,

“How long does Fleet Week last?” Or “I like biographical biographies.”

I am repeating myself in a stupid and repetitive way. Like those snippets that are easily recognized by the receiver yet lost on the speaker, unless pointed out. And once done so, even in a fun loving way, makes the speaker feel like a trapped teenager whose timing is off and can’t recover quickly enough to laugh it off, and thus gets caught up in embarrassment and shame at being dumb. Yet that was not the intent in the first place.

I am meant to do great things.

Did you know this about me? I think you do. I feel it from many, in both a supportive and expectant way. I feel it from myself even more. Yet what are those great things? Did I just accomplish this by traveling around the world? Was that great? Many people seem to think I did great things, by volunteering in different countries, yet I still don’t feel like I have done something that is a big WOW. A definite difference that has made the world a better place.

And now, I am home. Off and running in a new direction, yet one that is definitely not a big WOW.

I am following another dream I have always had of being a waitress. People often pause after I tell them this, trying to decide if I am being snarky. Or they laugh, typically followed by a shrug and respond with something along the lines of You are great with people, or You do LOVE food. Yet now, there is reaction that gives me pause. People seem let down. They answer with a Really or Oh. In those instances, I quickly follow it up with that I will be looking into the nonprofit sector and hope to start on a new career there.

Or is it me who is giving myself pause? Is it I who is let down? I feel stress creeping in on me tangling with disappointment. Where is the big WOW!? The GREAT things I am to do?

During my travels I had hoped to get clarity on my next career. To find something that made me excited, hopeful, powerful, and passionate. Something I could throw myself into and in the process, do something great for the world and give back for all the greatness I have been given.

I did get clarity; just not on the topic I wanted. I found that, more than anything, I want to be a mother.

And while traveling that felt beautiful, yet being home, reality has set in and it just feels remote and unrealistic.

I don’t have a partner. I don’t have medical insurance. I don’t have my own residence. I don’t have a job that supports one, nonetheless, two. I don’t have the means to provide that which I believe every human should have the right to begin their life in this world with.

And that feels scary and sad.

But what I do have is a community of friends and family that make all my dreams come true. I do have a foundation of love, strength, belief in myself, founded by my parents, and built upon by friends and family, that teaches me that I will do great things- yet maybe just one step at a time. I do have friends that listen to me, and help me find the beauty that started me out on the path that became too cloudy and overcast to navigate without guidance.

So, I live at my parents. I have a job with an unsteady income. I have dreams yet to accomplish.

And, I have all of you. I have GREAT things that will make way for me to DO great things.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sailing Sailing Over the Ocean Blue

I knew the guide book had said something about getting wet, yet I was sure I had built it up in my mind for dramatic affect, versus the book playing it down. The dark cloud in the sky seems to be gaining in size and speed towards us, deepening in its gloomy warning, a nod to the book‘s cautioning. As I step down into the dwarfing panga, against the rising swell of the sea, I assert my confidence to increase in the captain. Surley he has made this trip a 1000 times and would know when a storm was too big to chance a crossing. Surley?

The plastic black tarp is thrown from the bow to the stern, I look for the grommets with which to hook securely to the boat. Upon realizing there are none and we are to hold on to it, I suggest to the young mother struggling to hold both baby and tarp that we switch. As the panga draws away from the peer, I can only see out of a ghoulish tear that is no greater than the length of my eyelashes and affords me about the same squinted view. It is like we are suddenly encased, as the tarp is pulled down to the sides of the panga to keep as much water out as possible. The panga crashes down upon four foot and swelling waves, trying to break before being broken, a wild wrestling with nature that seems doomed to defeat.

Crash. Slap. Slam. Each downward movement of the boat sends shivers of doubt of our safe passage.

A burst of rain pours onto us and my ghoulish tear turns traitor, dumping water disproportionate to its size onto mother and child. The young mother lets out a shriek and drops down into the base of the vessel, both cowering and cradling her child, desperately seeking comfort and protection for herself and young one. The wind, rain, and sea rip restlessly against my grip, slowing but steadily sliding my fingers towards the edge and until I seem to suddenly lose my grasp entirely. The tarp wrenched free, it slaps mercilessly against my chest and face and I am at once grateful that mother and child had moved down as I gracelessly try to regain my hold upon it.

Crash. Slap. Slam. I can see the waves crash over the front and suddenly one of the sailors loses his footing.

I regain control of the tarp, this time trapping it under my left hand as I wrap my hand around edge, just as the sailor regains his stance. My right hand grips tightly in the air the back edge. The lack of give of the tarp forces my head into a bow, in order to escape the constant whip of surf and rain. This humble posture induces reflection of my life, and the others in my boat. I had had nothing to complain about, only gratitude for the many opportunities placed on my path. Yet the young child held tightly in its mother’s arms. What experiences can it claim? I can’t help but to think of the thousands of refugees that risk their lives in this very manner to cross an ocean to a land with greater chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How did they endure? A rush of admiration washes over me as I multiply this moment by a thousand, catching a glimpse at the fear and courage these people have faced, and will continue to face.

Crash, Slap. Slam. I cringe as the reverberations from my bum climb up to the base of my neck.

I look sideways past my left arm through the gap the tarp leaves between grasping hands of passengers. How do the waves look higher than the side of the boat, yet not just seep in? I can no longer see any signs of land, and try to arch my head to gain sight of the watch on my left wrist. How long had we been here? How much longer could I sustain holding my right arm in the air to keep the water off others? How is the mother able to keep her child either sleeping or feeding at her breast? Her love from her heart must flow from her breast and directly into her child’s heart.

Crash. Slap. Slap. Slap. The tarp is lose again and suddenly slapping me while I choke and am blinded by sea water.

I small hand wipes away the hair from my face. I look over into the deep brown eyes of a young girl, not more than 12-as she reaches over mother and child to help me regain control of the tarp. Under the dark low protection of the tarp we smile. Her kindness fills me with hope, and all fear is washed away. With bent head, I survey the other passengers and see a glimmer of white flash from the front. The tall Belgian who graciously loaned me one Cordoba to gain entrance to the pier is smiling! I smile back and we hold each other’s gaze as a second wave of hope washes over me.

Crash. Slap. Slam. I giggle at the plastic the man in front of me ridiculously placed under him to keep his bum dry. It is dripping with water.

His wife reaches over and takes the tarp from his hand to give him a rest. He turns to her with surprise and they smile. Hope, care and kindness are spreading through the tiny boat at high speed. I am able to catch a the face of my watch. Only five more minutes left. What other beauty can I find before we beach at the dock? I peak my head back and out over the tarp. The waves are still large, the sky gray and then for just a second I see land. I close my eyes and smile peacefully as the elements bless my face.

Splash. Tap. Calm. We pull into the harbor and disembark.

As the passengers in the front amble out, the baby is roused from its tranquil rest. I crawl over the backside of the panga and onto the pier. I reach down and mother passes me her child. I look at the child and it lets out a loud cry, letting me know, that it knows, I am not mom. The sailor walks over and takes her out of my arms and I help mom out and onto the pier. Hawkers envelop the pier and try to get the passengers into their hotels or restaurants.

Adam, from the dive shop that I had emailed, is there and asks me how the ride was. I take a moment to answer, smile and say,