The first thing she ever said to me was, “Did you hear, there’s no hot water!?!” I looked at her in horror and she laughed. “Just kidding!” We met at a 10-day meditation retreat in Brittany, France. Ten days in silence: that I can handle. Ten days with cold showers… I’m not that courageous.
There was something familiar about her right away. Later she would tell me I look like her cousin, so having me there in a neighboring bunk-bed gave her some comfort. She had looked comfortable enough to me. In the meditation room, as I sat struggling not to fidget, in pain from the torture of sitting still for hours without moving, she looked the definition of peaceful. With folded-up legs, a straight back, and years of yoga practice behind her, she was planted stillness.
The girl is a bit of a hippy, a word we laughed about the last time she was in Paris because though she does not like it, it pretty much fits. This free spirit has been traveling almost non-stop for the last three years, and her agenda has included much yoga teaching (often near a beach), surfing, and Amazon tribe commiserating. A recent Facebook post of hers informed us she was traveling around in a van in Australia with surfboards on the top. I had lost track after I saw photos of her teaching yoga to children in Sri Lanka.
Born and raised in Paris, she has always been looking at the horizon. In the five years we’ve been friends, she has lived/traveled in Iceland, Brazil, Finland, Sri Lanka, Japan, Australia, Mongolia, The Philippines, Bali, Peru, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Namibia, Costa Rica and likely many other places I haven’t been able to keep up with. I include her in my favorite Parisians because this is the city that nourished her, it was her trampoline, where she has flown away from and, luckily for us, sometimes flies back to. It’s inspiring to keep up with her courageous free flight around this planet.
Through the years, we’ve had many coincidences in our friendship. One night when she helped me move some things into a friend’s cellar, it turned out to be just below the apartment where her brother lived. Last winter when, for the first time in my life I suddenly wanted to spend all my time in the kitchen baking, she was doing the same five hours south. And tonight, as I tell her about starting this new blog on my birthday, she tells me she is also starting a new blog, planned to be launched on her birthday, though it’s a week late. It seems like it’ll be born the same time as mine. Happy Birthday dear Sea.