Getting through these past weeks has been an adventure for me. I did not find that marking the 1 year anniversary of Jim’s death was all that difficult. Then there was my birthday…I guess it hit me that I am alone and although there are many that would celebrate with me, well it just wasn’t Jim. One of the more interesting parts of this dilema is that Jim and I were not big on celebrating our birthdays or anniversary. Well, maybe Jim was big on celebrating his birthday because it meant chocolate and an array of it as well.
I have been traveling a little in my cute RT. I took advantage of a Scottish Dance weekend in Pacific Grove to leave a day early and camp on the way up. Then I came home a day late so I could camp on the way home. One of the nice parts of heading for this destination is the Big Sur Coast. I traveled it north and I traveled it south. Halloween night found me near San Luis Obispo and the Thursday night Farmers Market. This is one of the best Farmers Markets and most people were dressed in costume which made it even more fun.
On the return trip I stayed at Lime Kiln State Park on the beach. Even though the beach was good what I really enjoyed was the hike to the Lime Kilns and to a 100 foot waterfall. It was beautiful and peaceful hiking through old growth redwoods. There is a softness to walking through the forest alone. I love to be in nature by myself. It clears my head, wakes up my heart and spirit and I seem to think more clearly. I like the clarity that the natural world gives me.
Jim loved to Scottish Dance. Here in San Diego we have a small and very dedicated group of dancers. They were very supportive to Jim and myself. Today they continue to honor and support me. What a unique and special thing this is. Back in the early 1990’s Jim wanted a kilt. He ordered a Modern Morgan plaid kilt from Scotland. Since neither of us are Scottish, he ordered one that complimented his beautiful blue eyes. He looked real fine in this kilt. It was fun to watch him dance and flip that kilt.
After Jim died I was trying to find a home for this kilt. No one in our branch needed one, so I contacted a long time friend of mine, Ron, in the Bay Area to see if he could help me find a home for this kilt. Ron teaches Scottish Dancing and music on all kinds of instruments. When I contacted him, he let me know that he had just started an non-profit to gather instruments and gear for those just starting out in the Scottish world of dance and music who often could not afford their own gear.I donated Jim ‘s kilt to this cause.
The kilt was delivered to Ron at the Orange County Christmas dance, 2012. There was this tall, thin young man playing the fiddle in the band. Soon I met Scotland (yep that is his name (Scotland Bonny). Scotland is 19 years old and a very gifted musician and dancer. Scotland now is the proud owner of Jim’s kilt. The night of this dance, at Ron’s request, Scotland wore this beautiful blue kilt to make music for all of us dancers. It was such a touching moment for me to know that Jim’s spirit lives on in this kilt that now will make memories for Scotland.
At the end of January 2013 I drove to Bishops Ranch, in wine country north of San Francisco for a Scottish/English dance weekend. This group of dancers, mostly from the Santa Rosa area welcomed me to their community with open arms. Before we were piped to dinner on Saturday night, Ron introduced me and told the story of Jim and the kilt, while Scotland stood on the stair landing for all to see. Ron played a beautiful air in honor of Jim. With tears in our eyes we walked to dinner. After a waltz at the end of the evening with Scotland, the kilt felt officially passed on to make new memories while carrying the spirit of Jim forward.
There are so many moments I have experienced such as this one, since Jim’s death. This moment with the kilt stands out. My heart was so wide open and there was this whole group of people that I did not know who just took me in and loved me when I needed it most. I will not forget the kindness and generosity of strangers who are now more than that. It reminds me to be open to find kindness in the ordinary of each day and not wait for the special moments.
I have been thinking a lot about this kilt. I am sure that this dance weekend in Pacific Grove had a lot to do with this. There is nothing finer than being a part of a ball with all the men dressed in their kilts and Prince Charlies and the women in their ball gowns, dancing to beautiful music. It is magic. I hope to continue to find this type of magic in my life. Dance On!!!!!