You probably know by now that I kinda pride myself on my fierce sense of self-reliance.
My ability to depend on no one.
And no thing.
Asking for help is a withered and atrophied muscle. Long ago forgotten.
My productivity. My accomplishments. My ability to get things done. My fearlessness. My willingness to take risks. Power through.
To be self sufficient.
These attributes not only make me feel like a badass, but they also help me hold a slight sense of superiority over other mere mortals.
Last week, with typical sense of sovereignty, I packed myself up to go to Wanderlust(you're welcome) to hike myself to the top of a mountain (8200 feet) to camp (by myself) for the duration of the festival.
A magnificent view from the zippered tent door. The smell of warm pine needles. The sound of prayer flags in the wind. Perched on the top of a mountain with sheer drop-offs on both sides.
In the valley, two thousand feet below, I arrived (via gondola) at my personal version of heaven. Hours and hours of yoga. Raw food, green smoothies, kombucha on tap. Music late into the night. And my awesome light-up-hula-hoop. (To see pics of this - check out my facebook page.)
At the end of the night, I waited at the base of the valley for the last after-hours gondola to transport me back to my summit-home.
Weary from yoga, hula-hooping and an odd summer-cold-bug that I had picked up. I walked into the black dark to find my tent.
But I didn't see it.
I paced back and forth. Confused. Tired. (And just in case you were wondering: sober.) And my tent just wasn't there.
Other people's tents were there.
My neighbors' tents were there.
But not mine.
A sweet fellow camper, Andrew, saw me pacing back and forth and came out to see if I needed help. His headlamp lighting our way as we surveyed the area. Looking for any signs of what happened to my home.
And then we found it.
Crumpled up into a ball. The busted-up poles piled into a stack. All of my stuff (Two gallons of water, my giant red Rowdy bag full of clothes, my jacket, sleeping back, Thermarest, uggs, toiletries, towel. Think: HEAVY.) all jumbled and rolled up into a broken-tent mound.
Who would do this?
Was it a person?
We tried to unfold it to see if it was salvageable - to see if we could make-shift something out of my camping pile so I could sleep for the night.
But the poles were broken. And nothing would hold any weight.
Here I was: homeless in the middle of the night.
On the top of a mountain.
Before I was even really cognizant of what was happening - more people showed up. Leslie, John and Alex. John started hauling my stuff to a new location, telling me the story of what had happened. Leslie graciously offered me space in her tent.
Through my shell-shocked confusion, I started hearing the pieces of the story.
"There was a huge dust devil. Like a small tornado."
"I looked up when I heard him yell."
"Your tent had to be fifty feet in the air."
"Dropped down over the edge."
"Steve went to find it and hauled it up."
"I can't believe you didn't know."
"Are you serious? You were at yoga?"
"He brought back as much as he could find."
"It's all good. Leslie has room."
All of these pieces starting to take shape as my new friends hauled my stuff to my appointed home for the night. Their kindness. Love. Openheartedness. Spilling over.
And I slept. Along-side my new stranger-friend. In awe of how supported we all are.
Even at the top of a mountain in the middle of the night. Even while I'm busy doing 11 million down-dogs.
I was being looked after. I was being taken care of.
There were people watching out for me. Someone hiking down to get my stuff. Another person making room in a tent. Another person back home loving me and checking in to make sure I made it to my tent safely that night.
People are good.
And they have huge hearts.
And they love each other.
And it such a lie to think that we are ever alone.
Because we aren't.
We are all connected to one another.
In ways that are profound and real.
In the morning I was gently woken up by John saying, "Meadow, the sun is rising. Come look."
Another beautiful and simple gift. A reminder.
"Don't miss this."
At the top of the mountain. Watching the sunrise* with these beautiful souls.
That in every way.
I am supported.
If that's not God.
I don't know what is.
*The photo above is the picture I took of our sunrise.