Finding Freedom

find freedom Aurita MaldonadoLast month when planning what fitness classes I’d teach in Pennsylvania for the month of June, I realized it would be nice to be on the road again with the man of my reality, sweet wind whipping our hair back and forth 🙂 , smiles playing on our lips, a cooler for a refrigerator, and love as our motivation. It had been nice to have a stable location to begin to recover from eosinophillic meningitis and my near death experience with rat lungworm, but the energy in the house was…suffocating, and my body was hurting. I was beginning to feel as if I’d lost my freedom.

Every morning (if I could make it to the stairs at night AND summon the courage to climb them physically) John and I would wake up in my father’s old office and dressing room. We’d hold each other while silent tears would cascade from my tightly clenched eyelids onto his firm chest; onto my pillow. I’d think of his last few days in that house, walking around in silence, pondering his life, his worth.

Like clockwork, I cried at least once every single day while I slept in that house.




I’d consider his sadness, his pride, his thoughts. Then I’d turn to my condition.

I’d think about what I used to be able to do. I’d remember about John and my original plan to peddle Central and South America this winter/spring, using our wits,,, and camping to survive instead of painfully hobbling around an empty house full of my father’s secrets, fears, and silent energy.

So, I simply told Paramount that I wouldn’t teach any fitness classes between the 19th of June and the 2nd of July, and I sent an email to Sue, my rafting client from the last trip of the season in 2011, who had invited John and I to recover in her cabin in the mountains of western North Carolina.

John packed up the necessary items to keep me vitamin sufficient, warm, and functioning while I walked in excited circles, forgetting everything along the way. I grabbed two bathing suits and a set or two of clothing, some cameras, and jumped in the rav4 with a ridiculous smile. As we began driving, I realized he had brought all of our toiletries, and just about everything I’d forgotten.

I love that man.

We stopped to visit my brother, Chip, on the way out, which is always a pleasure, then hit the road.

I love that man, too. 🙂

As John began driving, the road seemed to open suddenly into infinite options.

It felt familiar.

It felt right.Sunset Hurricane Rita all rights reserved

We drove quietly for almost an hour, simply breathing the nearly visible sense of freedom that settled in the car between us. I stared out of the window with a slight smile on my face while the man of my reality, dreams, past, and present held my hand as he drove the vehicle south.

We naturally shared smiles and flirtatious glances in the absolutely BEARABLE lightness of being that grew naturally with the flowing pavement.

When the honey light of the beautiful setting sun began filtering into the car, I began searching through my Ipod for a little music to accompany the silent symphony of nature’s beauty. I settled on Michael Franti & Spearhead.

The memory of the music brought me back to the evenings I spent in John’s cabin in Haines, Alaska before we were confident we were soulmates.

“Lover, remember when I texted you asking about Michael Franti two years ago?”

He smiled, “Yeah…I do.”

“You know that was just because I wanted to reach out to you? I was so interested in you and your energy…Drawn to you… that I wanted to relate to something you liked that night, and it made my heart flutter that you responded.”

He smiled that ‘I love you’ smile that makes me melt like a Snickers bar left on the dashboard in July.

Remembering that uncontrollable feeling made me want to embrace the man sitting at my side and never let him go. When I flew to Fiji to participate in 72 Hours, it was the day before our one year anniversary, two days before my third bomb day. 

We had only been together a year (or centuries, you choose) when he chose to not only save my life, but to stay by me through this entire process of recovery. He chose to remain with me through the hardest times of my life emotionally and physically, listen to my non-sensically charged rants about hatred and fairness, embrace me when I couldn’t hold myself up, even be my figurative punching bag when the hurt simply hurt too badly to hold inside and sift through logically.  He held me and wiped my tears with caring caresses.

He convinced me there was life after my father’s suicide and the my subsequent paralysis when I wanted to curl up and disappear from the pain forever in a fog of morphine. He reminded me of my strength and determination. He forced me to remember to eat well.

His love kept me alive.

My heart felt as if it would nearly burst.

I started “Time to go Home,” and to the silent sound of the setting sun we rocked out with our c*cks…out…wait… 😀

We sat hand in hand, nodding our heads like thuglets with smiles on our faces, remembering.

Remembering our freedom,  our adventures, our peace, and our love in the purest form.

We were on an adventure. We are always on an adventure.

Finding freedom in the adventure is sometimes the challenge.

We found it.

It took some searching, after feeling misguided for a bit, but we found it.

In each other.

In the open road.

In the beauty of the Universe.

It felt right.

And so it was.

Remember, tomorrow’s not guaranteed.

Live, laugh, love, roadtrip. 😀

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