There have been several times in my life when Angels boldly stepped in and picked my sorry arse up and sent me packing to other, better places. This was one of them. Her name was Cynthia, and there is no one else like her anywhere.
My dear friend Cynthia and I met at a week-long dowsing convention in Arkansas, in May of 1996.
I was perched on the edge of my bed in a shared room with 2 other gals. We were gabbing and going over the day’s schedule, when into the room this tall whirlwind Valkyrie strides, wavy red hair tousled from stormy winds outside. Her aura of intensity was larger than life, her joy almost volcanic.
Standing by the doorway grinning wide, hands on hips, she announced full volume, “We’re going for lunch! Who’s coming?” As one, we all jumped up and shouted, “Me!” “Me!” “Me!”
She swept us up in her enormous zeal, and we, little peeping human chicks, followed her down the hall, magnetized right out the door and over to the restaurant to a table for ten. Perfect.
In conversation over lunch, I was saying to the person to my left how thankful I was to at last be recovering from a recent weeks-long dual-bout of terrible pneumonia, and the effects of a heavy-duty detox/chelation from heavy metals poisoning. That I was still feeling pretty weak and dizzy, but so happy to be able to be there and learn so much from Harold McCoy, the head of the dowsing program.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see Cynthia perk up and lean towards us. She listens as I describe how sometimes I feel like I’m in a whizzing time vortex, and have to just stop in my tracks and wait for it to pass. Other times I can’t eat because of how harsh food seems now, after six weeks of major detox, so I have to be careful to get enough to eat, and sometimes I forget . . .
And Cynthia pipes up, “Angela, you should come stay with me!
I’ll take care of you until you feel like you’re healed
enough to function 100%!”
We both reared back in our chairs — I think she was as surprised by her offer as I was. I surprised myself again by not even hesitating a second, saying yes! Who could refuse a kindness like that?
As I got to know her better, hanging out with her and the others, somehow I felt shocked each time I heard her called ‘Cindy,’ a child’s nickname, diminutive, almost insulting.
My first impression of her never left me — a marching powerhouse, a human tornado straight out of Valhalla. She was always — and still is — ‘Cynthia’ to me, her Inner Being a pillar of god-fire, scorching to ash those who would cause harm, embracing without reserve those who walked with the glow of Inner Light.
Over the next few days, we discovered we had a multitude of things in common, and got along like old friends who’d known each other for decades.
Being a bit of a rogue star, this rarely happens to me — most often, people shy away after being with me for any length of time, saying, “You’re too intense, Angela…” or “You’re just whacky — you really believe in all that?”
My entire life was like that. I always felt like The Unwanted, The Upsetting Outsider. I was too spooky-quiet, or too loud, too annoying, had too many questions, too impossible ideas, believed in UFOs and aliens, telepathy — and lord knows I never stuck to plans … I wish I had a dollar for every time people said to me, ‘You’re too much!’
I could just imagine them crossing their fingers behind their backs, making the ward-off-evil sign so I wouldn’t do whatever weird thing they were afraid I might do to them. Snort. As if.
But not Cynthia. She was a collector of renegades like me. She not only added us to her cherished stash of Fascinating People, but she made sure we all felt appreciated for who we were, rather than just what we knew or did or produced, or even how much money we did or did not possess.
We weren’t human DOings, or human HAVings.
To her, we were precious human BEings.
It turned out that she lived a stone’s throw from where I grew up out on Long Island, in New York state.
At the moment, I was living in an old renovated fire house in New Mexico. I either had to refuse her offer, and stay in New Mexico — unbearably bone-cold in winter/dusty-dry-soul-sucking hot in summer — or pack up, leave my desert hideout, and drive half across the US to this tantalizing oasis of promised refuge.
Always choosing adventure over stagnating-same-old-same-old, I decided to pack a UHaul with all my stuff, trail my Toyota pickup behind, and go take her up on her offer. Within the next month, finally feeling strong enough to make the cross-country trek, off I went to stay with her.
I rocked out across hills and plains and the Mississippi River, singing along at the top of my voice with the straining vocals of Stevie Ray Vaughn and crystal toned Johnny Winter, navigating through the big cities with Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt hammering the air at a lower volume.
I was surprised at how uneventful my days were. Long, pretty scenery, but pretty boring … until at last I turned off the highway to Oyster Bay.
Suddenly, with zero segue, instead of a huge freeway
with wide lanes and empty sky overhead, now I was
navigating a small rural township’s shrunken two-lane roads.
I’ve never been so nervous driving anything anywhere as I was that day. My UHaul was two inches above legal height. The signs saying ‘hey, your truck is too big, turn around!’ only appeared after I entered the roadway — why was there no place to turn around? Sure would have been nice to see signs like that a mile back, when I could still find another route, eh town councilors?
Luckily, the overhead wires I’d have caught on and dragged down with my overhead roof lights were on the other side of the loop going around the point. I never encountered them.
The road circled the little community right smack dab on the edge of Oyster Bay — the eight feet away, right on the rocky edge, edge. So I had to either levitate and fly off to a wider road — hahaha — or keep going.
I cranked my speed down so much that if I were to go any slower I’d be going backwards. I didn’t care — I just wanted to make it around the point and over to the X on the map that was Cynthia’s house.
I was increasingly aware of angry locals, a growing line of them, stuck behind my snail-slow truck/trailer, unable to pass me on the narrow, double-lined two-lane road. Impatiently honking and yelling and screaming at me to pull over! Get outta the way!
But … erm … there WAS no place to pull over!
I gritted my teeth and wound as fast as I could around each sharp curve and corner, wondering with each turn if I’d get stuck, the front end of my truck on one side of a curve, the back side on the other.
Leaf-heavy maple and oak branches seemed to spot me and purposely bend down to reach over and grab the ridges and lights on the roof of my UHaul.
I started to really wonder if I would get my truck and trailer rig through this nightmare to her house.
But I did it! Around a last corner by the little graveyard
across from the beach, suddenly I was there!
As I drove slowly through the rose-covered gate of the white-wood fence and on into her driveway, I hooted with joy and raised my arms in success as if I’d won First in a world-class marathon. Champion!
It had taken me five days and four nights to get there. I ought to have taken longer, but I just couldn’t wait. I was so wrung out that it took me a week to recover.
I parked, stopped the truck, closed my eyes and took a bunch of deep breaths.
It seemed like a miracle to actually be there.
I stepped down from the cab, white-knuckle gripping the steering wheel for support, my legs shaking/trembling/weak as hospital jello after my harrowing crawl around the bay.
Gone was the swarm of angry howling locals —
now all around me was Garden.
With a Capital G.
Roses of all colors, plate-size dahlias, tall gangly bee-flower bushes, and clumps of bright blue hydrangeas. Honeysuckle and fresh-cut grass scents filled the air. A chorus of loudly chirping birdies and squeaking squirrels; pine tree shadows; scents and blooms I couldn’t name. Paradise, indeed! I was almost in tears, I felt so overwhelmed.
Cynthia burst out the front door and flew over, bending down and completely encompassing me in her mammoth long-armed hug.
She made me feel like I Belonged, and Here’s a paradise in which to
rest and recuperate as long as I needed.
The ambience of expectation, and her delight in my arrival — ‘where have you been?!?’ and ‘it’s about time you got here!’ and ‘you are so welcome here!’ rocked me to the core, bowling me over.
I’d never experienced such a welcome before.
It had been a long trip, all by myself, but it was the beginning of an entirely new chapter in my life. It was 5 months after my 50th birthday, a day that I had thought would never come, having been so ill. And now look at me!
I closed my eyes again, and allowed myself to breathe in the clean blossomy air, the sweetness of a dear new friend, and the energy of Beginnings all around me.
I knew without a smidge of doubt that I could get back to keeping on keeping on here, in this thickly flowered Eden, engulfed and bolstered by Cynthia’s enormous care and flowing-over affection. I about crumbled to the ground in gratitude.
How I Was Rescued from My Dreary Reality, Part I
Image: Going Home © Angela Treat Lyon 2002
Text: © Angela Treat Lyon 2023
Thanks for reading my story — I hope you enjoyed it!
Next comes Part II, the story of the trials and troubles of a new friendship under the duress of extreme polar-opposite life styles!
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