I love stories. I enjoy listening to guests tell me their life accounts. By far, my favorite stories are the relationship ones. Love stories make me melt. I gush at the events, cooing with corniness as I live through the words that are shared from strangers. I am fortunate to live in a place that brings a variety of non-fictional-folklore-romance stories to my door. I have heard countless biographies of how folks meet, who made the first move, where and how they got together, their serendipitous moments, and so on. This week I had the pleasure of meeting two love birds that have touched my gentle heart in the most tendering of ways.
Cathy and Denis came to attend a wedding in town two weekends ago. They stayed for a few extra days and left to travel and explore the area. They returned for a few more days and I was able to share in their circle of love and admiration. Denis, a charismatic middle school teacher, is a no-nonsense witty man. A musician at heart, he has a poetic side to him that brings his beautiful girlfriend to her knees. You can see their intimacy in their gestures and glances. Cathy, a beautiful-classy-bubbly lady, is pure joy. She has an air of sophistication and a knowing that she keeps tightly reserved for her alone. For the first part of their trip I thought they were married. Sitting down with them I learned that they just became “a couple” almost two years ago. They knew each other in high school. He “had his eye” on her for years. “She was the popular cheerleader.” He was the geek. She really didn’t notice him then. They graduated and life took them on separate journeys. Both got married, had children and grandchildren. Both lost their spouses after 38 years of marriage. And, then through a deep emotional moment (after the loss of wife to cancer) Denis decided to attend their 40th high school reunion hoping to see “that beautiful girl” that made his heart skip a beat way back then. He finally got the belle of the ball. He calls Cathy, “his goddess.” My eyes watered as he shared his luck. He devoured his emotions with such joy and love that I was brought to goose bumps. She sat there agreeing, nodding, and every so often commenting. Her eyes twinkled every time he looked at her with admiration. And, in those moments of witnessing such comfortable energy I got lost in their exploration.
Listening to the accounts of their lives brings me to the awareness that love has no expiration date. I’ve had several guests share similar stories of reunions. There is hope and faith in knowing that someone out there is waiting on your heart to unite. Lovers come into this life on a treasure hunt. They move through years as scavengers waiting to find “that one” individual that will connect with them. I know when I met Matt my heart settled and whispered, “Oh there you are. Well, of course. I’ve been waiting for you. What took you so long?” Every other relationship (some which were amazing and breathtakingly beautiful… others not so much) raised the standards for this particular one. I met my match. I was able to feel comfortable without excuses. I have been able to fully strip away the scrutiny of self-worth and image. I never thought I would even consider getting married. It wasn’t in the cards for me. I always said that I wanted a man in my life but not in my house. Now, he’s not only in my house but we are raising a baby together. Funny how this happens! This home is full because of everything he has brought with him. I am learning who I truly am through his existence.
The heart expands with each connection. It vibrates, learns and teaches the brain exactly what is needed to survive. We do not live solely for ourselves. We are here to unite, attach, and bridge the way from one heart to another. It doesn’t matter if it takes 20, 40, or 60 years. In matters of the heart there is no time line. You can meet your soul partner at age three and move through different experiences and journeys.
Every person who enters my life has taught me something invaluable. Whether it is with a glance, a word, a conversation or years of connection I evolve because of you. I am giddy with gratitude for my beautiful teachers this week, Cathy and Denis. Their presence has reminded me that love has no timeline or expiration date. It is endless and priceless. I hope they return soon!
“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” ~ Thomas Merton
About the Author: Millie A. Mestril
After raising six children, working in the corporate world, and being part of a relationship for eighteen years, I found that happiness was not consistent in my world. I left the business world, ended a relationship that was deteriorating and headed to the mountains. My best friend and I bought a small motel in the middle of gorgeous country and began the greatest journey. What started as a visit to Asheville in May of 2010 became a permanent home for us. Now with only one teenager at home, I am able to be part of a wonderful world of meeting people from all walks of life. We’ve transformed an old gem of a place into a sweet and quaint oasis for others to find peace. To those looking into our lives it seems we saved Peaceful Quest Retreats, but the reality is that this place saved us. Every day brings joy, inspiration and a zest for life I never knew existed. The lessons have not always been easy but the ride has been scenic and delightful. I can’t imagine ever returning to a life that was not authentic to my spirit. ~ Millie A. Mestril
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