Lucas swung his car around the little cul-de-sac and debated whether to honk his horn, or walk to the door. His moment of hesitation earned him a moment to breathe and collect his thoughts in preparation for a two hour drive with Samantha to a potentially disappointing meeting with Raven. His phone call with Raven had been short and to the point, and her response had been a simple invitation. Samantha had sounded nervous and giddy on the phone and he was worried she had too much riding on this first encounter. There would be plenty of time to try to manage her expectations on the long drive. The curtain by the door fell back into place, and Samantha came out of the house before he had made up his mind about honking on a Sunday morning.
He got out and walked around to open the car door for her, and then turned to greet her. There was still some awkward uncertainty so they shook hands and smiled through the tension and her nerves.
"Thank you again for offering to drive, please let me put gas in your car" she gushed.
Lucas sensed the urgency behind her request, a need to tip the balance back so she would not feel so indebted to him. He wanted to argue, but decided to let her have this one.
"You can do that."
He watched her visibly relax. She got in and he walked back to the driver's seat in measured slow steps, savoring a few more moments of solitude. She watched him make his way around so calmly, so gracefully and wondered whether he was ever caught off guard.
He punched an address into the navigation system, selected some classic rock radio station and then started the engine. She settled in, trying to slow her breathing and organize her thoughts.
"Will you tell me how you met Raven?"
Lucas smiled and said "I think you'll like that story, and it's as good a place as any to start. When I first arrived in West Harrington, I was a bit like a lost puppy and Raven scooped me up at a diner. She calls it like she sees it, no nonsense and she put me up on her couch for a few days until I could find a job and get my own place. I don't think anyone can usually refuse her, she just told me I was coming home with her and that was that. Thinking back, I liked her right away, but I'm not sure I could have told her no if I tried. Real business like in her tone, you know?" Lucas paused and flicked his eyes to Samantha's face to see her reaction. Samantha was drinking in every word. Lucas felt protective of her, she seemed so fragile. He wanted to prepare her for Raven's bluntness. "Raven saw something in me besides my need, and decided to rent me her spare room so I basically lived at her house for three months. I tried to help out around the house, and she put me to work fixing things, painting things and helping move furniture. People either love her and seek her out for readings or advice, or they shun her and avoid her. I wouldn't be surprised if some people think she's a witch or something, but there is no harm in her intention. Some folks just aren't too happy with things she sees either so they turn ugly on her sometimes, but she never lets that interfere with her delivery of information." Lucas paused again, and felt Samantha's gaze on the side of his face.
"What kinds of things does she see?"
"I think she'll be better at explaining or describing that than I could...so...can I ask you what you have seen? Besides the wolf thing I mean." He was careful in his tone, but also curious.
Samantha swallowed and then cast her mind back. "I've seen images in people's eyes, like once I saw a butterfly and another time I saw a snake coiled around some one's leg. Once I felt a deep sadness that was not my own, and while I was not sad, tears rolled down my face and my sad friend who could not cry felt some relief." She shook herself and came back to the present, the car, the conversation with Lucas.
They both felt a silence deepen between them as the radio filled the cabin with a well-known song. It was a comfortable silence that was only broken occasionally by a guitar solo or a rock ballad. At one point they both hummed along with a favorite and their voices mingled in a quiet way with the rumble of the engine, the song, and each other. Her anticipation of meeting Raven was calmer now, less anxious, but just as vibrant.
Thank you for visiting!
The Double Meaning behind the blog title 'Dream Follower:'
First, for 14 years I was a ballroom & social dance instructor, and have studied both leading and following. I feel that learning to follow is full of nuance and is often misunderstood. I made it one of my personal goals to become a really excellent follow on the dance floor, and will probably talk a lot about the art of following - both in and out of the context of dance.
Second, I am a huge fan of author Michael Ende, probably best known for The Neverending Story. The book is incredible, and the first film captured some of the essence. (Please don't watch the other two films...I urge you to read the book though!) Anyway, at least twice in my life I have been caught in a storm of my own indecision, and my inner Moon Princess yelled to my inner Bastian...'Why don't you do what you dream?' I tear up even now as I write this little blurb. The tension between being practical, keeping my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds (at the risk of compromising my inner vibrancy, true self, and who knows what else)...and reaching for my true dreams (at the risk of losing everything) is still a very real struggle. In fact, one of those struggles lead to my 14 years of teaching dance, so we can see which voice won the battle that fateful day when I was staring at the want-ad...
And so I strive to be two kinds of Dream Followers in my life. One has to do with connecting with others, and the other has to do with connecting with my inner Moon Princess and the world of possibility that opens when I do...