NINE MONTHS. NINE DAYS. NETHERLANDS.

Today’s Prayer to Passage continues within the ancient scriptures of the “Nag Hamadi”. This month’s spiritual devotion within these texts will take place between June 1 – June 30, 2017.

Today I pray, “Dear God, Today, I depart The United States of America, my home country, and venture forward toward the Netherlands for a nine-day stay there. I have been planning this trip for approximately nine months. Nine months. Nine days. The number nine in numerology represents the ending of one cycle and the beginning of a new cycle. This is certainly the energy that exists as I depart for this adventure. I will be sure to be in communication about my wonderful, beautiful journey. This will certainly be a journey of transformation. Thank You for this. Amen.”

Following my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands and opened it to reveal this passage:

“And some say, “On the last day we will certainly arise in the resurrection.” But they do not know what they are saying, for the last day is when those belonging to Christ […] the earth, which is […]. When the time was fulfilled, he destroyed their archon of darkness […] soul(s) …
… (10 lines unrecoverable)
… he stood […] they asked what they have been bound with, and how they might properly release themselves. And they came to know themselves, who they are, or rather, where they are now, and what is the place in which they will rest from their senselessness, arriving at knowledge. These Christ will transfer to the heights, since they have renounced foolishness (and have) advanced to knowledge. And those who have knowledge …
… (11 lines unrecoverable)
… the great […] resurrection […], he has to come to know the Son of Man, that is, he has come to know himself. This is the perfect life, that man know himself by means of the All.”
—NAG HAMADI SCRIPTURES

I started my writing career as a poet. I scribed my first poem around the age of four. It was a song I sang to my grandfather, my father’s father, about the moon. Then I wrote a children’s book at age 12. The book received a “first place” award in a book writing contest. I continued writing songs and poetry throughout my teens and twenties. I even sold tickets and played guitar and songs — about a dozen of my songs — for a live audience in New York City while residing there in 2003. At age 29, I became employed as a newspaper reporter. At age 30, I began writing my first book. And now, at age 39, having been a daily blogger for nearly two years, I emerge a travel writer. I have very little expectations of myself as a travel writer. This is not really how I deem the journaled accounts of my trip to Amsterdam, however, one might say that this is, in essence, travel writing. So… let it be so.

This morning I awoke to an organized life I had created for myself. I had moved from a single-dwelling apartment in the historic F. Scott Fitzgerald neighborhood of Saint Paul to the outskirts of the trendy Northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis where I now rent a room in a house with two housemates. I have been able to cut my rent costs in half and secure approximately $5,000 for this trip to Amsterdam. I have made it in to work, as scheduled, every day since mid December, not taking any vacation or sick days in over six months. My suitcase and carry on bags are meticulously packed.

My hotel has been booked since January. I have called my phone company and credit card company to inform them of my travels and set up travel plans. My new passport arrived in the mail in March. My haircut is fresh, my fingernails are filed and painted, and my camera battery is fully charged. I am traveling to a foriegn country for nine days as a single woman who is fully capable of manifesting her heart’s desires. And I know this about myself, which makes it all the more vivacious and full of life.

I awoke, showered, re-heated a Chipotle burrito and enjoyed a quick breakfast, got dressed, zipped up my suitcase, painted my toenails, called a taxi, and rolled the next nine days of my life out the door and down the sidewalk as I sat waiting for my ride to the airport. The taxi arrived. My bill was $74 with tip (yikes). I rolled into Terminal 2 — the international airport — at 1:15 p.m., which was five hours and 45 minutes prior to departure. I was not allowed to check in until 3:00 p.m. And I was fully and richly contented in that. I sat in a chair that faced the check-in counter, sipped a carbonated beverage, and perused my phone Internet for an hour or so. I rolled my fabulously prepared life over to the counter, checked in, and rolled over to security.

The man at the security check-point looked at my passport, looked up at me, looked at my passport, and looked up at me again and beseeched a squirmy, “Seriously??”
I countered, “What? My age?”
He said, “Yeah. That is unbelievable.”
I offered, “Oh, I was like, ‘What’s wrong!?'” That one encounter made my whole day. It was a slightest of fine compliments to keep me rolling — and ultimately exciting and fulfilling, albeit temporary — life moving along juuuuust fine. I was on cloud nine.

After the security checkpoint, I made it to the gate where I rested for the first time in what felt like decades. I had been going over this very moment in my head for months. And it was here. I found a seat, pulled out the book I had packed, and read as an adorable little boy named Ben, approximately three years old, sat in the seat next to me; his mother and father were traveling back home to wherever their destination point was. And all I could think was, “Dear God, Just get me to Amsterdam.”

The airplane was ready. We boarded. I boarded alone for a trip that would be spent alone. I had never felt more empowered in my entire life. And I’ve experienced some preeeettty noteworthy and empowering highs. But this was a pinnacle moment. I was starting a new cycle, planting a new foundation, building a new empirical discovery. I couldn’t be happier. It was impossible for me to be more content. I found my seat, buckled myself in for that ride of a lifetime, and kept my eyes at the window as the plane arose above the clouds. I had finally made it.

I sat next to a kind woman from the Untied States who was on her way to Norway to visit her sister. Her mother, who also lives in the States, was to be joining her there, as she would be singing in a choir on a tour with the choir. The woman spoke with excitement in her voice, yet she had a calmness abut her that eased my mind. I knew that once I arrived, I would have nine days to familiarize myself with the city. And I had no set plans. I felt natural and calm, yet excited about this.

As our stopover was in Iceland, we flew in that direction. And out my window was the most beautiful and breathtaking sunset I had ever seen. It was a line of deep red along the entire horizon, layered with a mango orange color, then a warm yellow that faded into the light blue of the evening sky. I have never seen anything like it. I could make up a story of symbolism; that the intensity of my spiritual life is softening into energies of joy and lightness. And that looking at it all at once, together, it is the most breathtaking life story I’ve ever read. Flying to the city of Anne Frank, I was reflecting on the lives and stories that touch our hearts so deeply in a way that we are never the same again upon hearing about, reading about, and learning about these stories. My story is one of these stories. And everyone has this kind of story to tell… in one way or another.

And I wept. I wept deeply in the confines of my heart, so constricted for so many months as I gathered the strength to make this journey alone. No. Not alone. On my own.

…As the timezone is seven hours ahead of the United States, by the time I arrived to Amsterdam — following a one-hour stopover in Reykjavik, Iceland — it was mid-day of the following day. And so, this completes this day of “travel writing”. Journeyed blessings to all.

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