Dear son and China friends,

I unabashedly send these words to you. I have been back in America for a month and each day has presented challenges in business, relationships, finances, culture and family dynamics that I could not have forseen while away. While it has been both unsettling and deepening it also holds the promise of reinvention, change, risk-taking and passing the test of sheer human stamina.

I say this to you because Andy and I have spent the late evening on the back patio, watching a herd of elk begin their rutting rituals, listening to Sam Smith, drinking margaritas and letting the night mountain air soothe our disquieted spirits. Each of you has danced in my mind this evening. Your challenges, your stories, your embraces, your delightful insanities, and your spirited energies.

I think of you. I think of China. I think ever so much of my son. I think of the gifts I received through your acceptance. Take it from the old gal you welcomed as a playmate for a few months. Life won’t stop irritating, confounding and bewildering you. You won’t always be on top of your game or even on the bottom of it. It will just keep asking you to dance.

So dance. Stand on the top of the tables and sing your heart out. And if you stay in or leave China– do not ever forget the freedom you tasted. You will be fine, wherever you go. But tonight, know that I am dancing with you.

August 38, 2014 – Jinx