Over the past few months I have had more surreal “pinch me” moments than I can recall having ever had before. In a way, a part of me thinks it’s a result of being open to them at all, really. You know how when you’ve met a person you think you’ve never seen before and suddenly you’re seeing them everywhere? Surreal moments are the same to me. You open your eyes to one and suddenly you’re seeing them all.
Magic. Magic everywhere.
Coming out on this trip, the most surreal, beautiful moments keep happening to me. If my writing reflects anything, it’s that.
Magic. And as I’ve discovered recently: love.
It’s now my seventh day in Pai (one day after the beautiful conversation by the pool) and I go out with my friends. We get happy drunk; we dance around. We make more friends. We bar hop. One place to the next, to the next, to the next.
So many beautiful friends. Actually, I need to correct that.
This is family.
In the late hours of the night we wind up at Circus – aka my new “happiest place in the world.” Not ready to go to bed yet, we all hang around and talk (and talk, and talk). Slowly but surely the lights are turned off. We sit in darkness. One by one, members of our group slink off to bed – bleary eyed and heavy footed.
It’s just four of us now.
We talk about topics that many people don’t talk about with their closest friends, let alone with a group of strangers. We talk about topics you definitely don’t typically talk about after a night of partying.
And yet, here we are. Letting each other in.
We’re here because somehow this place has brought us together. Somehow we have all left our regular lives, our regular worries and fears. We’ve come in search of something, whatever that may be. What we’ve found, it seems, is each other. Sitting in a hut in the dark.
I find myself sitting in silence at times, taking in their words. Taking in how wild it is to hear so many of my own views said out loud by people I have so recently met. We talk about self exploration, about vulnerability. We talk about the balance between rational and emotional feeling, on what an important journey it is to explore them both.
At times I chime in. At other times I sit in silence – havaya, taking it in. Taking in that a moment like this exists.
And then, because apparently life is just intent on creating the most perfect moments (memories?) for me these days, one of them says:
“This right here is special. Moments like these don’t just happen.”
I feel my goosebumps rise. I look out at the empty grounds. Listen to the silence. I smile for the millionth time that night.
And I think to myself: “oh, but when they do.”