The first year at Sun Dance I was the only new person and so at the end of that week, I had gained many new friends.
This past year, I felt very much welcomed back and knew my friendships were deepening with several of the people.
I hadn’t expected to really make more new friends.
I was wrong. One of the guys who was participating as a dancer brought his girlfriend to help support. Let me just say that placing someone into the atmosphere of a Sun Dance knowing he wasn’t going to be available to her for most of the time is like going “all in” in poker. A definite make or break move.
She surprised me with her openness and sharing of her stories of life and the challenges she was going through after the loss of her father. I, of course, could relate to some of her same feelings. So just as we were forging this friendship, she had to leave suddenly while I was in the midst of something else.
It was like being at camp and finding a new friend and then one day while your in the art class your friend is whisked away and you never even got to say goodbye.
I did get her number and information from the guy that brought her once the Dance was over and he was available to speak with. We have kept in touch and hope to visit each other sometime soon. Oh, and the bold move did not backfire as they now share a residence and have a puppy.
My cousin had also invited a woman that he referred to as his adopted little sister to come and support him too.
He had become friends with her and her mother when they owned a shop in So. Florida as he would sometimes frequent there and then finding that they could house sit dogs, he had them take care of his dog when he traveled.
A time then came that they were all looking for housing rentals at the same time and it was worked out that they would all get a larger home together. My cousin was at the time in the fast paced corporate world and traveled extensively so the situation worked out. As life changed, as it always does, the sharing of a home ceased and everyone moved on. But a bond had formed and they all continued to be close.
She sounded sweet and adventurous and not afraid to help out where needed, so I encouraged her to come.
She had other friends in the Taos area that she would be staying with until a day or so into the event.
I think the only background information that my cousin provided was that her parents were from India but she grew up in Cleveland – of all places!
She was in FL for much of the same time he lived down there but now lived in TN.
Jasmine- the little sister to him, so little cousin to me? showed up the second day into the event. I could see that her friends dropping her off were assessing the situation and were prepared to take her right back out of there if needed. Their protective feelings are something I probably notice more looking back on it now than I did then.
She stayed the day and then that evening went back to Taos to stay in a warm soft bed as there was a singer (Mike) from Taos, who had heard of the event and came out to join with the singers on hand for the day’s rounds and was planning on coming each day.
They were delayed getting back to the grounds on the next day due to his van breaking down, so when she got there this time it was for the duration.
It coincides with the day that Erin had to leave suddenly.
For the next three days, Jasmine joined in the duties I had again this year of providing water/tea/coffee, lemons and honey to the singers. It was a longer haul from the kitchen to the Dance circle and arbors so the help was necessary and very appreciated.
We learned how to work together, catch nuances of what we each were going to do when speaking wasn’t appropriate and found each other’s sense of humor. In my world, that means we learned how to dish it out and take it from one another and laugh doing so.
By the end of the week, I was sure that while she had come to support Jerome, it was me that was going to benefit the most.
She had already planned to ride back to Denver with me as she had thought she would visit some people in Denver and Boulder, but those plans changed and her plane was leaving the morning after we left Sun Dance. We decided she would just ride back with me and spend the night and then I could take her to the airport before going into work.
The 5 hour trip was nonstop stories from us both where we shared in ways that seem to be easiest when the other person has no prior knowledge or preconceived notions of the people in the stories. There is also the reality that we are a captive audience in that capsule that moves us along the highway. And truthfully, I’m not sure if we truly knew if we would have to revisit any of the conversations again as who knew how long we would hold onto the new friendship. Such freedom allows for more truth and sharing than sometimes happens in years.
The next morning I got her to the airport with a great hug goodbye and hopes that we would stay in touch.
We have and then some.