The Young French Girl

I was driving from Queenstown to Christchurch yesterday. I had spent the last four days there working towards my P1 license for paragliding, and the feeling of that is an entirely different story. There are no tangible words to describe some experiences, and I covet that about introspection. As I drove the charming roads that make up New Zealand’s South Island geography I started observing my response to the world around me. I began to feel a deep sensation of love for this experience. Not just the drive, but the experience of form, the experience of tangibility and consciousness. I once again reflected on the gratitude that I have for every single moment that I have been able to breath here, and that I have been able to feel love, pain, joy, sadness, anxiety, and tension. I felt so fortunate in that moment to be a sentient being, to be animated, and full of vitality….what a marvel I thought. What a miracle, what luck and splendor there is right here in this moment. I noticed the fresh air surrounding me as I flew by open fields, alpine lakes, rolling hills, and jagged mountaintops. I listened to music, and as always my playlists tend to lull me into a gentle wave of unanticipated thought and ingenuity.

It’s quite beautiful living in a country whose landscape and weather are as dramatic, and ever changing as your mental impressions. I began to feel quite kindred with the land around me. As the music put me at ease, I began to let the external silence around myself and the lyrics, cloak us like a warm blanket. I felt the sun on my arms, and noticed that the small hairs there were standing on end. They were alive, aware, and as conscious as I was in that moment. They were reacting to my own experience in that moment. I began to cry. Not because I am weak, and not because I am an empath….but simply because I felt so lucky, and fortunate to be blessed with a healthy physical and creative form that allows me to experience my life in the way that I do. I am constantly a student in my own physical form. I am constantly in company of my mental body as we learn more and more about one another, and understand the absence of separation within and without us. I feel that the more I comprehend, the more I began to sense. The more I sense, the more I see myself in all faces, in all experiences, in all places.

I kept driving until I came across a young girl on the side of the road. I saw myself in her, I noticed her joy and love for life, and her faith in the world around her. I pulled over and she ran towards the car. Her name was Cami and she was from France. She was ten years younger than me and was commencing her travels into the world on this trip to New Zealand. I couldn’t help but remember how it felt at that age to travel the world on my own. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to see the world, such a beautiful, raw, fragile and fortunate thing. We spoke for about five minutes, and then settled into silence aside from the music that I had been playing. We both smiled and observed the world around us, and every now I than we would let out a sigh of bliss for the magnificence around us. We didn’t need words because we both understood that in that moment, they were not necessary. I dropped her off at Lake Tekapo, and she said….. “ Thanks for the ride, your music lulled me into such a state of relaxation I feel so well rested now.” And then she was gone. I may see her again some day, but probably not. Life is beautiful that way, moments come and go, and some are beautiful, and some are painful. But the world will not stop for you to react to what may or may not happen. You just have to go with the flow, and soak in what you may in the short amount of time that you have. And maybe yesterday was just about enjoying a scenic drive with a pretty young French girl who reminded me how precious youth is. And reminded me how valuable experience is in those earlier years for helping to create our view of the world, and giving us the knowledge to guide ourselves through it benevolently.

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