Who knew Iowa would include an amazing group of people who choose to live in community, serving and helping one another, caring about the social injustices currently taking place in the world...people who intentionally position themselves on the outskirts and dare to stand out...especially in one of the most conservative places in the US?
I sure didn't!!
It's also an amazing thing to meet the twin sister of the woman you love. Having twins, I am of course very tuned in to their special, unique bond...but I never knew I would fall in love with a twin. Meeting Mary (Missy's twin sister) and getting to know her, being in her home, being welcomed into her family and observing the love and care that exists between her and Miss, has caused me to fall even deeper in love with Missy. It's like it all makes sense now...like something was missing...a piece of the puzzle that I just couldn't put my finger on that caused things to not feel quite complete...but now, knowing Mary...I feel that I know Missy in a way I didn't before coming here. It's quite sweet and I feel very blessed.
I also am very inspired by Mary and Eric's desire and commitment to be who they are, to raise their kids in the way they feel is best, to live and create their home and community in the manner that feels right to them...even when neighbors, family, or other locals don't agree with their particular style. I know that for me, as a parent, I easily get trapped into putting on all the expectations of others as if it's my daily uniform and then I begin to shape my life based on what they feel is right for me and my children. I hate this and I want to be strong enough to stand apart and do what I feel is best for my kids, even when it seems to be "against the grain."
I spent 4 years trying to fit into the mold created by the mother of my children. I felt that in order for her to love me, I needed to be all that SHE thought I should be...as a person, a parent, a partner...and I always, always failed! In her eyes, I am sure I am still a failure....but truly, it's only because I am different. I do things differently and I believe it's important that my children experience me...the authentic me. I believe that it's important that I teach my children to be strong and courageous and to stand up against injustice and to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves and to love fervently no matter what, even if it means that others judge you because they cannot fit you into their box of comfort and familiarity.
So many opportunities for reflection have emerged in Iowa.
I want an intentional group of people to be "OUR" community
I want to teach my children to help others, to serve and to "see" others who need their love and support and to not be afraid to offer it - in kindness
I want to do guided meditation adventures with my children
I want to create time and space to explore and experience life and relationships - with Miss and my children - as part of our community - and to NOT get stuck in the day to day
I want to give back and teach my children why it's important
Mary, Eric, Izzo, Truby...I am so blessed and grateful to have spent this time with you, in your home, in your town, with your community. You are all going home with me, in my heart, and I can't wait to see you all again soon!