This past trip to New England was the first I’ve ever made in July. Last summer I skipped July because I went solo in June and then with my mom and girls in August. I was also still working at my office job last July so taking a road trip every month wasn’t yet a possibility. While I knew this was my first trip in July, what I didn’t realize was how many other firsts it was going to be filled with.
Every trip I take to New England is filled with new experiences, some of them planned and some of them not-so-planned. This trip I planned to go to the community theatre show I was invited to Thursday night and then down to Plymouth and Cape Cod Bay area on Friday. My weekend plans were to attend the MCNAA Summer Moon Pow-Wow. I did everything I planned and it kept me busy with plentiful new adventures! But it was the firsts that stood out most in my mind.
This was the first trip to New England where I didn’t see any of my friends in Amesbury, MA. There were various reasons for that but it still made me a bit sad. This trip was the first time I attended any kind of show in New England. I’m glad it was The Village Theatre’s production of The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes because I felt honored to have been invited.
It was the first time I saw with my own eyes parts of the Wampanoag culture I’d only read about in books. I had my first experience with the craziness that is Cape Cod traffic and also my first meeting with an online friend from that area. It was the first time I was finally brave enough to go out and dance in the circle at a pow-wow for both the Round Dance and some Inter-Tribal dances. That last first is rather huge for an introverted semi-hermit like myself!
Along with expanding my knowledge of Massachusetts and its history, I also learned a lot about myself. I learned yet again that I’m stronger than I think. I faced some rather tough lessons, lessons I’d been certain would reduce me to rubble, but I didn’t crumble. In fact, I stood taller and prouder of myself. Certain life experiences add cracks in the foundation of my beliefs but I always fill those cracks with a truth that makes my spirit ever stronger and more determined.
One thing that will always remain true is that my trips to New England renew my soul, stimulate my mind and fill my heart with joy and fulfillment. The first time I see the “Massachusetts Welcomes You!” sign when I cross into the state makes me smile, take a deep breath and remember that I’m on the right path.