I just returned from my weekend away.
And I feel... rejuvenated. And so joyful.
I used to belong to a group called the Ha.sh House Har.riers. They define themselves as "runners with a drinking prob.lem." I never really loved the NYC chapters, but a long ago boyfriend introduced me to "travel hashing" -- going to far away events hosted by other "kennels." And I was addicted to these travel hash events. Until I started the TTC life, and it (and pregnancy and early motherhood) felt too much at odds to continue with hashing.
One of the things that I like about hashing is that it's a total escape from real life. Everyone has "hash names" that are generally rude and crude and totally anoymous. (Mine is AARP*nis, because of my tendency towards older men.) We don't talk about work, or families, or health problems, or money. We just hang out and have fun. There are no rules, really, besides the unspoken rule of being kind.
So my very good friend Salt Lick and I boarded a bus on Friday morning to take us to the beautiful Ithaca, NY, for a hash camping weekend.
What an amazing weekend!
Everyone was so friendly and kind and full of smiles. People were glad to see me back... though many didn't recognize me, now that my hair isn't so short as it was a few years ago.
It was wonderful to travel with Salt Lick -- we can talk for hours -- and fabulous to connect with... and old flame, I guess you could call him. We've never dated, but we've had an intense connection since we met more than seven years ago. And now he's getting divorced. He came to visit me shortly after Calliope was born, and after that visit, I told him that I couldn't be in contact any more, what with him being married and all. So he just got in touch with me a couple of months ago, after he filed for divorce. But we hadn't seen each other since Calliope was tiny. Before that, it had been 2-3 years.
We had sex an impressive number of times over the weekend -- I think eight times in a little over thirty-six hours? It was glorious. I had forgotten how much fun sex with another person can be.
We also spent a lot of time just hanging out, just the two of us and also mingling with others. It was fabulous.
Saturday, late morning, the whole group headed out on trail. There were chicken, turkey, and eagle options -- various lengths to accommodate all levels of athletes, from serious marathoners to walkers. I love that about hashing -- it includes everyone. The trail meanders through the woods, marked with flour, sometimes on established paths and sometimes bushwacking through brush and swampy water. There are many false starts, so the fastest in the group have to stop and search for the "true trail", allowing for slower folks to catch up. Along the way, there are several "beer checks" where folks stop and drink.
I almost never drink -- I had a single Jello shot on Friday night, and a couple of ounces of beer on Saturday for being publicly recognized in the circle for "coming out of retirement" for the event -- but that was it. But it's fine to not drink there, too.
Anyway, it was amazing to be in the woods again. I loved the feeling of freedom that being outside brings me.
And I loved the total acceptance and love I felt from the group.
And it's true, I loved the sex.
I loved dancing in my underwear on Saturday night -- there's quite a lot of nudity sometimes, and people often skip down to their skivvies for dancing. I felt strong and confident.
And I loved the fierce hugs I received.
And not talking about my darling child for two whole days.
When I saw her tonight, I dropped to my knees, completely choked up and barely able to speak.
"Hi Calliope, " I said.
"No." she said, and looked to the nanny for reassurance.
She was very quiet for a minute, then reluctantly came to me for a hug. But with a few minutes, she relaxed. Getting ready for bed, she sang out in a super high pitched baby voice, "Hi bir-day Cay-o-pee" and I burst out laughing. Then she cupped my face tenderly in both hands and kissed me twice on the lips.
My delicious girl.
I'm so grateful to be back, refreshed and recharged.
I'm definitely not waiting two years to do that again.