That said, here I am driving at dawn on Ventura Highway in Southern California with my daughter Alexandra. I'm not here to get away from The Valley. I'm not here because it's better than The Valley. I'm here because I'm here. I'm buoyed. I'm elated. I'm ecstatic. I'm up. "Exuberant" is a fitting word.
You may not say so if you saw my face - unless you're already familiar with exuberance. Being exuberant is an experience which doesn't manifest as smiling and laughing and jumping up and down with glee. It's more profound than that. Secondarily it's a joyfully energetic, enthusiastically driven, powerfully intent experience, filled with and inspired by the presence of Self. Primarily it's an experience of being - just natural plain ol' being.
Ventura Highway doesn't make me exuberant. And if it made me anything at all, whatever it is couldn't be exuberance. Exuberance is prior to all this. It's prior to Ventura Highway. I was exuberant in The Valley. I'm exuberant now. But here's the thing: Ventura Highway is such an awesome backdrop for being ongoingly exuberant. And what's really cool is that driving on it with Alexandra to the Ventura yacht harbor where she'll run a five kilometer road race, is a triumph, a victory. Every palm tree, every beach town, every wave breaking as the gentle Pacific Ocean kisses the feet of this heart-stoppingly majestic coast road, speaks eloquent testimony to this triumph, to this victory. Exuberance is the context for this triumph, for this victory - first in The Valley, now here.
Alexandra completes her five kilometer road race in record time. I stand at the finish line cheering and taking photographs as she comes in, way ahead of the next group of runners. She's satisfied with her time. I'm satisfied with her intention to live well. I like my new role as her supporter rather than as her director and manager. There's new freedom and space in our relationship. The parent / child connection is a given. But when it morphs into friendship, the magic can really begin. It's the result of each granting being to the other.
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