Friday, April 20, 2012

Welcome Home

I am in awe of affinity. I find the simpatico that arises when it's there remarkable. And I'm reminded that it's true what they say: we can recognize a true friend at first meeting, know and be known by them better in the briefest of moments than others might know us in a lifetime. Ditto a resonant place.

In October 2007, I met a musician on Cape Cod. I had the pleasure of hearing her play and sing, then the added pleasure and privilege of sharing a table with she and her partner after her gig. Love's Freeway came up in conversation somehow or another, and the next thing I knew we meeting again the next day--my birthday, as it happened--and exchanging our labors of Love: my book for her CDs. We didn't speak much about it, but I think it was clear to each of us that we'd met a kindred spirit. She hailed from Tucson these days, a place I new and loved, and back to Tucson she went after our farewell. 

Fast forward four years. Thanks to this column, and the occasional Facebook note over that time, we've stayed in touch. So when the desert started calling my name last fall, whispering Come, come in my ear, I turned my attention to Tucson. I had "business" in that desert and I knew it. And come October, as a birthday gift to myself, I booked a ticket. I dashed off an email to Amber to let her know I was coming, suggesting: "...perhaps we can get together?

I was hardly prepared for the welcome that followed--from that first email exchange, to our parting hug, my friend offered love after love:  from an airport greeting and a fine bottle of red, to her food, her car, her museum pass, her guest room (which involved moving in a bed and setting up said guest room to accommodate me), her music, and endless tips and thoughtfulness.  "Call me, ANYTIME!" 

I don't think I have ever received such a warm, such a heartful welcome, let alone by someone with whom I'd spent a grand total of about four hours.  I was received, loved like a lifelong friend, which touched me, again and again. Thank you, Love.  Bless you, Amber.  Bless you, Tucson.  Bless you, beautiful Desert.  You've given new meaning to "Welcome."  You've given new meaning to "Home."


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