The one less traveled…

Posts tagged “Travel

The Best Day of My Life

I was going to post something to wrap up the amazing year I had in 2009, but time slipped by and it just never happened.  So here I am, enrolled in another class, working toward a Doctorate in Psychology.  I don’t normally post my papers in my blog because they are filled with technical jargon and are meant for sharing in an academic environment.  The class I am enrolled in at the moment is a composition course, which gives me a wonderful opportunity to practice and enhance both my technical and creative writing skills.

The first paper was to be a narrative essay on “The Best Day of My Life”; which gave me pause as I don’t quantify my days as “Best” or “Worst”.  Each day for me is a blessing, a meditation…filled with opportunities for life lessons.  Many of my “Best” days have come from heartache, challenge, and very difficult circumstances.  My growth comes not from the easy days, but from facing the tough challenges and from facing myself each day; embracing my beautifully flawed life.  So though I really bristled at having to pick a “Best Day of My Life”; I managed to root around the many incredible life experiences Ive had and pinpoint one to highlight.  Hope you enjoy and may your 2010 be filled with courage, love, friends, family and many blessings.

The Best Day of My Life

I have been blessed with so many best days of my life; even the most profoundly sad or painful ones have been best days because they left me with beautiful life lessons.  It is difficult to qualify only one day as my best, but the day I met Her Majesty the Queen of The United Kingdom was one of the best and most amazing days of my life.

It was March of 1998 and I had sold all of my possessions and hopped on a plane with the high spirit of an impending adventure to backpack Europe.  My first stop was an extended stay with a friend who lived on a sheep farm in Wales.  Through this friend I met so many wonderful, warm, witty people and was able to immerse myself in the culture and charm of the Welsh countryside; I even drove a car on the opposite side of the road!

About a month into my stay, my host and her friends approached me with an incredible offer.  One of the women was a County Clerk in a local district, and had received an invitation to meet Her Majesty at the opening festivities for the recreational pool in Wrexham, Clwyd.  The ladies had collaborated and decided that the “Yank” should be the one to attend the opening and meet Her Majesty.  I was just floored and it took me a few minutes, before my head stopped reeling, to answer YES!  I could not believe I was going to meet Her Majesty!

The plan was for me to take the invitation and present it for admission under the guise of being Mrs. Morris, the county clerk.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that this adventure had some obvious hurdles to overcome in order for it to be successful.  First, I was a “Yank” and had a “Yank” accent, we solved this by deciding I’d have laryngitis and anyone engaging me in conversation would be met with a soft raspy apology for not being able to speak.  Second, I did not possess a picture identification stating I was Mrs. Morris; I was assured it would not be needed, but it left a queasy feeling in my stomach.

The day arrived and I drove to the pool, my head was dizzy, my knees were trembling, and I thought for sure I was not going to be able to go through with the plan.  I approached the door and with a shaking hand gave the invitation to the greeter.  She smiled and greeted me as Mrs. Morris; my hand flew to my throat and I rasped out an apology for not being able to speak.  It WORKED…the greeter led me to my seat and left to make a cup of tea for my ailing throat.  I could not believe I was actually in the door and waiting to meet Her Royal Highness!

The ceremonies commenced, we all stood as Her Majesty and Prince Philip were ushered into the pool area; she greeted the children presented to her audience and then gave her royal blessing to open the pool.  Her Majesty looked so beautiful in a day suit of light blue, and a lovely matching hat and gloves; she truly bore a serene countenance.  The day progressed with several swim meets, between the local children, that had been arranged for Her Majesty to enjoy.  I could not take my gaze from Her Royal Highness and felt like I needed to be pinched by someone, to know that I was only minutes away from meeting her.

The ceremonies were ending and the group of people I’d been sitting with were directed to the pool area and assembled into a line to be presented to Her Royal Highness.  I was once again a bundle of nerves, my skin was flushed with heat, my heart was racing, my hands shaking and I thought for certain I was about to faint. Her Royal Highness approached and all I could see was the most lovely serene smile, her skin was soft and luminescent; her eyes a sparkling blue.  Her aide introduced me as Mrs. Morris, with my accompanying title, and Her Majesty extended her hand to me; I somehow remembered to curtsey as I softly grasped her gloved hand.  She greeted me with a warm smile and I rasped out a quick “Your Majesty” as she closed her hand in mine.  It was over in mere seconds but I felt like time had stood still and the moment had lasted forever.

I will never forget the experience, each moment, each feeling, the colors, and scents… her face.  Most of all, I shall never forget the people who arranged the adventure and the woman who sacrificed her opportunity so a “Yank” could meet Her Majesty.  The day was made one of my best because of the spirit and heart behind the gestures of a handful of people from the Welsh countryside.