Indulging With Life And Friendship
Twelve friends and their families indulged on a weekend of sharing the realities of life at the scenic side of East Texas called Sam Rayburn. It was more than just a weekend getaway from the stressful, fast-paced demanding city lifestyle. It was a weekend of indulging in love, laughter, friendship, adventure, reality check and even the outpouring of emotion and tears as we shared our stories of life, struggles and the price of pursuing our dreams. It was a weekend of soul-searching and healing. It was a weekend of gaining back some of the happy and beautiful memories we had forgotten.
A few of our friends left Houston late Friday afternoon and arrived at the camp site around 10 p.m. freaking out after being lost for an hour without a phone signal on a dark, unpopulated dirt road. It was too remote for the cellphone to pick up any signal and the address can not be located via the car’s navigation system. We took a huge sigh of relief when we received a text that they finally arrived safely.
The other group including my family arrived Saturday afternoon. We were all excited and anxious to see the place. The countryside landscape was a refreshing vision of endless greens. After nibbling for some late lunch, we all headed to see the serene waters of Sam Rayburn dam. The kids were jumping and running all over the place. Their laughter filled the normally quiet surroundings. My son was so happy as he threw small rocks into the tranquil waters. He and the other kids were playing “who can throw the farthest rock.” Their faces glowed with joy and excitement. I was glowing myself just seeing how happy they were.
The sunset was unforgettable. The sky looked like it was on fire. It was amazing how it spread across the darkening skies just on top of the pines trees. From a distance, the trees looked like they were burning. The image reminded me of what love’s passion looks like when expressed deeply and sincerely. I bet all the couples and lovebirds were thinking the same thing as we watched the last hint of the Sun’s presence. I looked at my wife and smiled. I felt so blessed to have her by my side.
Everyone had a great time indulging on a wide choice of deliciously grilled food over a hot topic of ”what makes you happy?” As the wine starts working its wonders and the mask of inhibition fell off, the topic sizzled to “what excites you?” questions that led to a lot of funny and hilarious answers. Sometimes the answers were getting intensely emotional and I could feel my face burning. I was sure that it wasn’t from the heat coming from the fire place. But one thing beautiful when you’re among true friends is that you can simply be yourself. You can express anger, frustrations, fear, loneliness, of love and longings with total freedom and acceptance. Before we call it a night, a few already cried as they shared their stories of joy and pain. It was liberating to open up and release all that suppressed emotions and feelings that were building up throughout the years. That night, everyone went to bed knowing that they were not alone. They knew in their hearts that no matter what happens, they now have someone to face the battles and challenges of life. Such an amazing, priceless gift that friends can give to each other.
My wife woke me up around 08:00 A.M. I was still sleepy but everyone already woke up and were preparing for breakfast. As I opened the curtains, I was breathless of how beautiful the view was. I felt gratitude for having the chance to be in such a place among the company of people I cared about.
After breakfast we went to the lake park. It was a perfect day to enjoy nature and all that it has to offer. The weather was cool, the sun shining brightly and the laughter of friendship sounded so comforting. I heard my son calling me, “throw me the frisbee dad, throw me the frisbee.” I let go of the frisbee up towards the sky. I felt my heart leap as I watched my son and his friends ran towards it.
The hardest part after having a weekend of fun, happiness and great memories is going home. I told my friend on the way back to Houston, ” I kind of feel sad that all these has to end. It’s depressing.” My wife agreed and so did my friend. Two months from now, we are all planning to have another weekend of out-of-town as a group. Perhaps somewhere close to the beach. I can’t wait for our next adventure.
What is that one unforgettable weekend with your friends and family? What makes you happy? Whatever it is, I bet it makes you smile too every time you think about it. Have a beautiful day to all. Thank you for indulging with me. I hope you enjoyed my version of the Weekly Photo Challenge called “Indulge.”
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