23376601_10213112717526371_77063003884503709_nHe brought me sticks. Might sound silly, but it meant the world when my world was crumbling down.

I had just moved into town, away from a magestic mountain, acres of land, the beautiful barn, a meandering wooded trail… it only dawned on me around 10:30, the night before class, that I had already scheduled an arts & crafts camp project requiring rocks and tree branches.

The summer was exhilarating and terrifying. I was tired. I felt like a failure. I needed to come up with a different craft – and fast. I broke down.

Rhyne walked into the center. He looked at me and said, “What can I do to help?”

Through crocodile tears, I half laughed, “I need sticks.”

“Ok” he simply replied. “I have to drive over the mountain tomorrow. I’ll grab you some.”

And he did.

The next day he showed up an hour before class with a box full of sticks. I’ve never been so happy to see ‘nature’ in all my life.

Rhyne and my husband had played in a band together, on and off, for almost 14 years, and although VERY similar creatures, we had never been close. I think I over-envied his ‘lead singer’ position and eclectic air of confidence.

Rhyne had only begun spending more time around me because of the center. OK – and because I’m kinda fun, ok – a lot of fun. Rhyne left Mifflin County in search of a more creative existence and saw Evo as an opportunity to bring that creativity back home.

Weeks passed and there he was. There he still was.

When my moving boxes needed to go to the third floor, Rhyne jumped right in. He took the lead in a play for me. When Dane needed a lift to the second floor he never hesitated to haul that beautiful, lanky 75lbs. up that skinny little stairwell.  When I was finally able to process the end of my marriage, and the tears rained down my dirty paint stained face, he reverently sat down quietly next to me – VERY quietly. Smart, smart man.

When one of my friends suggested we start dating I laughed, “But it’s Rhyne.”

She said, “Yeah. And?”

But he was always Rhyne. Just Rhyne. You know, Rhyne.

But what I was slowly realizing is that he was becoming my Rhyne. A friendship that spanned over a decade – two people who had actually watched each other’s kids grow up. I had diligently snagged the occasional fitted shirt for Rhyne at Goodwill knowing damn well he’d love it. He had let me borrow his gigantic black backdrop for my new photography studio knowing I needed it more…

Now here we are.

Two lost souls. Two creative, flawed, over 40 lost souls who seem to understand each other much more today than we ever could have way back when…

We share a vision, a creative passion and willingness to plant where we are now rooted to make the very best of the rest of our lives. We might fail. We might fly. I’ve never felt so ‘guided’ to get it right. The universe is speaking and I am listening.

I am surrounded by productivity, positivity, and possibility.

I’m not sure where we’ll end up. We are being realistic and optimistic. I’m damn sure we share a vision of where we’re going. And the trip has never been more exciting.

I’m ready to hold on and enjoy the ride.