Last autumn, in search of rituals that would help me kick off the next phase of my life, I stumbled upon a little Chinese one. Its called something like the 49 wishes. A friend of mine had told me about it once and I had kept it stored away in my brain for the right time, the right place. Essentially it goes like this. You write a wish or a prayer on a piece of paper 49 times. You burn that paper and scatter the ashes to the wind. You do this for 49 days straight. Its a special kind of magic, setting your heart and mind on something–like a mantra. Putting it out into the universe and having faith that it will be delivered. For me this ritual was like plowing a field, making my heart ready for something to take root.

For 49 days I wrote this little phrase down “FEARLESS TRUE LOVE”. I haven’t told anyone this before really (except maybe Jackie) partly because I didn’t know what it meant and didn’t know how to answer the inevitable questions. Was I asking for permission to love myself fearlessly? Was I opening my heart to a rockin’ love affair? Seeking the gift of soulsistership and friendship? Maybe…all of it? Maybe something else entirely? I didn’t quite know what it meant to me but something inside me said “Just ask…the rest will follow”.

In the act of all that writing I must have drawn a magical door. It is a door through which people now seem parade into our life, boldly changing it with the blink of an eyelash. Some are folks who have known us awhile and love us well. But others just a year ago were strangers. Total strangers. In some cases they dropped by for a short while and left us with gifts to last a lifetime. In other cases, they moved in and continue to help us grow and stretch and blossom in new ways. I long to tell the stories of these strangers who have become dear friends and of the certain kind of magic that happens when people lead with wide open hearts. This spring I might just start.

This week, one of my favorite recently former strangers, wrote a series about how to encourage creativity in children. In one particular post, she urges us to teach our children to welcome strangers. I loved this post and embraced the wisdom in it. I have done it from the minute Max was born, sometimes against my better judgment. But I did it because I want to teach him that the world is good. Now don’t get me wrong, I have taught him well how to keep safe (do not go anywhere with strangers and always follow your gut when someone strikes you as icky and weird, and always stay close to a grown up you know and trust). I want him to know the joy of welcoming people into our lives and seeing life just open up in amazing ways. I want him to wake up prepared to be surprised about the wonderful things life has delivered to our door. Strangers are a critical ingredient to a creative life–whether you are a child or a 38 year old mama. So we talk to new people as we walk downtown, do our grocery shopping or play in the park. We ask questions. We follow-up. Its been life-changing.

On particular version of this magical portal for me has been this blog. I am forever amazed at who I have discovered coming through this way. I have found myself encircled in a community of women, strong, beautiful, brilliant women–soul sisters really. Women who have brought out the best in my writing, who laugh at my stories and who help me shoulder grief. It is a gift.

I have lately been particularly interested in connecting in “real life” with you amazing women I have discovered typing away. I want to know your stories. I want to hear how you ended up where you ended up. I want to invite you in and pour you tea and listen as you tell me what you dream about. Whether you live just down the street, up the coast a bit, across the country in a windy place or sunny space, or in a far away magical land, I want to make tea possible. Something tells me in the coming months, these and so many more wonderful creative women will be leaping through my door, virtually and really truly and I want to celebrate that, honor it and invite you all in for tea.

So here is a challenge–Leave me a comment on this post and let me know you are here. On Friday, Max and I will put the names of all the beautiful you who comment here in a hat. We will pick one of you lucky friends and will send you this beautiful hand painted mug (pictured above) made by Kara a new found blogging friend whose art speaks to me of magic and sisterhood.

Howdy stranger…Come on in and have some tea. We have a lot of catching up to do.

A little postscript: A shout out to Laura and all you other Philadelphia Flyers fans. Your boys skated well tonight. While I cheered for my Caps I have to call ’em like I see ’em and that was some rockin’ hockey played by the orange and black today, especially by Martin Biron. It will be an interesting week as we move into game three all tied up…

26 Responses to “Howdy Stranger…”

  1. Kara aka Mother Henna Says:

    Okay, do *not* put my name into the drawing coz it would be silly to win my own cup 😛 But I just wanted to say thank you for posting this — and let you know that this reader equally appreciates the portal of bloglandia and finds it terribly exciting to connect with you, too!
    Miracles — a million zillion of them — to you,
    k-

  2. Jena Strong Says:

    A shout out from up the coast a bit, then take a left and you’ll find me waiting on the front porch of love.

  3. bella Says:

    I’m here.
    And I’ll be there, with you, in person, this June.
    Leoliscious and I are heading out to see my family for a week. And wouldn’t you know, they happen to live not so far away from you.
    (email me and we’ll pick the day and time!)
    Your heart is so big. Your love so full. Fearless. True. Thank-you for letting me in.

  4. tanaya Says:

    I’m here (though I think this might be my first comment). Sitting in my office in Seattle, longing for closer connections.

    I can’t think of a better wish than Fearless True Love, whatever it means to anyone.

    All the best.

  5. Steph Says:

    I love the 49 idea!!!
    How neat!!
    I think I may try it!!!!!
    thx!!

  6. Amber Coffey Says:

    I just found your blog (which I love) through MotherHenna’s blog (also love). As I was reading, I felt as though we were long lost friends. I invite you to visit me at http://www.recycledrealities.blogspot.com

  7. Ang Says:

    Its amazing what happens when we invite fearless in, i commend you on doing it.
    ANg

  8. Jean Levert Hood Says:

    I love Kara’s art! She’s an incredible person, and I look forward to each of her blog posts. She is a woman of power.

    yes, let’s have tea! I’m adding you to my bloglines, to enjoy your future posts.

  9. Another Meg Says:

    Very cool concept. I’m happy that Maggie sent me your way! I’m blogrollin’ ya babe.

    We were at the Caps game Sunday… or maybe I should call it the Flyers game. Flyers fans would yell “let’s go Flyers!” and, reflexively, we would all respond, “Flyers SUCK!” After their 2nd goal, I looked at my son and said, maybe we shouldn’t say that, seeing as how they have 2 and we have ZIPPY goals. He agreed.

    We’ll get ’em in Philly!

  10. Karen Says:

    I’m here because I’m always here and not just to win but to say this is a kind and marvelous gesture and always, always welcome in my world.

  11. Noel Says:

    I’m here, and was suddenly struck when I read “fearless true love” for I’ve encountered something very like that this past weekend in my own life. I didn’t have a name for it, but now I do.

  12. Laura Says:

    Hi Meg:
    Your writing amazes me! it comes so naturally to you – it flows. Not quite sure how you do it -but do it. I enjoy it so much and you open my mind – make me think and for that I am thankful to have stumbled in.

    Good luck tonight. Our boys are at home and Philly is buzzing and pep-ralling. It’s just a game after all.

    The mug is beautiful – does she sell her work? Don’t mean to insult her – I’m new out here.

    Take care,
    Laura

  13. GreenishLady Says:

    I love this post. Your open door and your open heart are a wonder to me. I’m in a far away and sometimes magical land. How I got here? I think your open door seems to draw us close, to peep in and see who’s there. I love the guidance you give your son. It will stand him in good stead all his life and leave his heart open to meeting so many wonderful people.

  14. Lucille Says:

    I’m here. I come ‘visit’ you every day and I love the way you express yourself with such openness and feeling.

  15. Chloe Says:

    Seems we’re practically neighbors (well almost)! I found your blog through Bella or Jena, not sure which, but I’ve enjoyed visiting. I love your phase ‘FEARLESS TRUE LOVE,’ whether it’s love for yourself of someone else. It’s a perfect mantra.

  16. Jen Ballantyne Says:

    Hi sweet friend, I am so pleased to see you do this give-away, what a wonderful idea. I have just recently found Kara’s blog after she left some supportive comments on mine. I love her too so good on you and I hope this gets heaps of interest. Take care sweet girl, love always Jen xxx

  17. Bhavana Says:

    I love the idea of 49 things – thanks for sharing. Just found your blog for the first time and I really like it. Also, the mug is beautiful – looks like henna I used to draw on my palms. Hope to win 🙂

  18. Courtney Putnam Says:

    Meg,

    I love the 49 wishes idea! I plan on using it for my dad who has advanced kidney cancer. Now I’m going to figure out what magic words I am going to write, burn, and scatter to the wind!

    Your blog is fabulous! Thank you for your words of wisdom.

    peace,
    Courtney

  19. angharad Says:

    i’m over in the uk – shoreham, near brighton. a little port on an estuary. full of kind, interesting and creative people. as for my stories, the happy ones are in joker’s blog, the sad ones in mafaldas daughter’s blog. and some scary ones in the asbo queen, to which you need an invitation from me, because they are from my old job.

  20. Tammie Says:

    Fearless love, how wonderful. For love is fearless, eh! I love your wish story and will try it someday. Thank you for sharing. What a wonderful cup, I too love Kara’s art! So wonderful to have found you on your blog.
    Tammie

  21. Lianne Says:

    thank you for sharing your magic… I will have to give this some deep thought before I commit myself to something as powerful as “fearless love”…

    You are magical and I know that beauty and grace will follow you everywhere.

  22. Jonna Says:

    What a wonderful post….and a beautful mug. Count me in. And I am going to give the 49 wishes a try.

  23. maggie, dammit Says:

    Shit, am I too late?? I’m too late, aren’t I?

    DAMMIT!!!!!!

    I hope I’m not too late.

    Come see me too, k? We don’t have majestic mountains, salty seascapes, nor arid beauty, but we have cheese? And beer?

    And me?

  24. thodarumm Says:

    Dearest Meg.

    Hello!
    I am so sorry. I haven’t been able to keep up with the blogosphere. But I came by here today and there is a whole slew of entries by you.

    I feel a bit bad to delurk to enter a drawing, but I have a very good reason to do so. I would like to win it, so I can donate it to the e-bay auction for Jen.

    Also, I am unable to donate through Paypal from your “button” here. Please let me know how I should do it.

    Thanks.

    And xoxoxo!

  25. Mom Says:

    Meg, You are my hero and such an incredible inspiration.
    You are an amazing Mom and daughter.
    Love you. xoxo

  26. jen lemen Says:

    i’d love a peek at that mug so i can kiss it with a blessing before it gets sent to whoever the wise and wonderful max deems must have it! love these posts, meg!