I am a sucker for most things pumpkin. It's true, while not an absolute pumpkin spice maniac, the flavor of pumpkin has always been one of my favorites. We all have these things, these little tidbits about ourselves that show who we are, further help define the brilliant characters that we are in this world. For some people it is related to food, maybe books and for others possibly even just a favorite smell. The specific item is important to us personally, but in the general sense this is one of those things we all share, this sensation that elicits happiness. This morning I was supposed to be going to one place, but due to a conspiracy with a mutual connection, Becky Olsen Jones discovered my love for pumpkin and decided to change the game a bit. I am thrilled she did.
Becky and I have been wanting to connect for a while. She was originally scheduled much earlier, but life has a way of making things happen when they are supposed to, and not one minute earlier. I joined her at her home for breakfast this morning, of which pumpkin bread proved to be the surprise star. In this moment is the best reflection of Becky, she pays attention and seeks to help others, however that may be. The bread smells amazing in her kitchen, generous and hospitable would be understatements. I am extremely welcome in this home. Once again I am impressed by the love one person can put out into the world.
There is an incredible warmth to Becky, a wonderful energy that is welcoming and supportive, warm and strong. Even during tough parts of her individual journey she has maintained this warmth, this purpose of helping people. It drives her forward, no matter what the endeavor, Becky seeks to help others in all things. You can hear the tone in her voice raise a bit as she talks about it, a subtle shift of excitement at the idea that she might be able to impact someone in a positive way. Becky is the person who bakes a special bread for someone because she found out about the joy it would bring, the kind of person who reaches out because she feels called to, and the kind of person whose doors are truly open when they tell you they are. Her warmth and love are paired with an incredible integrity, an honesty that seemingly makes every place feel a bit like a home.
We talk a lot about passion and purpose, about how important they are, but also about how they change over time. Becky is a grandmother now, so she has seen children grow into adults and transition into parents themselves. She tells me that when her children were young, they were the purpose and the passion, the most important thing in the world. Through good parts of the road and bad stretches, Becky held onto that purpose. It drove her and got her through difficulty, they made life about more than just her, and in doing so gave her strength. We talk about how important authenticity and purpose are, about how so many people strive to be another version of themselves, a more perfect image, and lose something of themselves in the process. I joke with Becky about wearing a t-shirt and jeans to work everyday, she tells me about wearing yoga pants in the same way. We sit in two chairs, talking and sharing. Real communication is such a generous act, and it is merely one of many when in the home of this remarkable woman. I wonder if it is possible to not feel welcome when you are with her.
A mutual connection told Becky about some struggles I have had recently with my mental health, one incident in particular. She urges me not to be upset at the share and, in truth, I am not. I have been so open about those struggles it is difficult to be mad at people who care. Becky then gives me a gift that touches my heart. She has blended some oils for me and takes a moment to teach me how to use them so the next time I can find a calm, a center, in the chaos. Becky does not know me and yet she would do this to help me, she would feel for me and seek to help, she would show immense compassion. It is that compassion that truly reflects the heart of this amazing woman. She is incredibly strong and incredibly loving, the kind of spirit we could always use more of in the world.
As I write this I am holding that little vial of oils, that special gift. It is a token of compassion, something given of love to help me when I am in dark places. The oils are reflective of the maker, of the healer who would seek to help others, to show great compassion. I love my new friend Becky.
Favorite DInosaur: Triceratops
Why: Her grandson, Tucker, is always a triceratops.