My friend Maryhelen has posted some unusual happenings as of late. A skunk attack while she was hiking, an uninvited bear visit to the community of Fossil. These give me fodder for fun. You see, Maryhelen and have shared some interesting and challenging life events. And we have a mutual history going back to our childhood that was not identified until we were adults. Some of the history of our friendship has been based in deeply spiritual encounters, and some has been etched into our lives as pure mischievous, practical jokes and play, not to exclude water fights and a pink bunny squirt gun.
When I saw the Facebook picture of the “league of adventurous women” my imagination started running wild. The fodder became fuel. I remember a card Maryhelen sent me picturing a woman trick rider at a rodeo in maybe the 1920’s. From that time on I thought of us as the “Godmothers of the Rodeo.” There was a trip to Seaside when, upon discovering the bar at the Shilo Inn was closed because of a special visitor, a certain Tricia did a sheik imitation and Maryhelen and I were her bodyguards. Flying out of Rome in first class on Air Aitalia we chose to rewrite the script to the “Three Musketeers” movie and annoy the passengers who paid for first class with our hysterical storyline.
Life connections come through many different avenues. I had just met Maryhelen through Diosesean church activities when we saw each other at her “aunt” and my “godmothers ” funeral in Walla Walla. Loretta often mentioned taking me to Fossil to ride Arabian horses with her nieces. So it took me until October 1994 to trailer my paint horse to the Dusty Saddle Ranch and ride with Maryhelen, mounted on a grey Arabian, probably a descendent of the horses she and her sisters rode as kids.
Sitting on the steps outside the church in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the church of St James, we shared deep personal stories of giving, receiving and letting go. We joined thousands of people from around the world kneeling in prayer so powerful that some souls were physically overcome as Satan left them kicking and screaming in the losing battle against the Holy Spirit.
We walked daily from our lodging in a visionary’s home to the church of St James, praying and playing.
And in a few days we will walk on another path, west towards the Cathedral of St James. We will walk as far as Maryhelen has time. And then, another year she will return to sit on the steps of church of St James. Santiago de Compostela.
I laughed hysterically looking for the pictures of the wing walking women. It took my mind away from wondering which clothes to discard in order to make my pack lighter or if i calculated the correct amount of medications I would need for the trip. Or if I was going to really catch the commuter flight into Pendleton after flying Madrid to Frankfurt to Portland and going through customs and passport control.
Laughter is so good for the soul. It washes away anxieties and fears and worries of our ineptness. Thanks Maryhelen for allowing me to poke some fun at you. It’s all pure fun. You know I’m not actually a crazed lunatic setting you up to do rolls in a crop duster. And I know that if I ever was to reach a breaking point, you would put me back together with duct tape and bailing string and all would be well.
Wednesday Thursday and then Friday we fly.