There’s something about these country boys — the way they hold open doors for a woman and insist on paying for friends’ drinks, the way they look at you and are really there, the way their accent deepens or slowness of speech lengthens as the night and drinking wear on, the way they all seem to have an instinct about the outdoors.
I’d known a small handful prior to moving down to the Washington, D.C. – Virginia area, and there was a part of me that had fallen in love with each of them just a tiny bit. But as I’ve descended deeper into the world of archery, I’ve met more, and these men have been incredibly generous to me — teaching me, helping me, cooking for me, reminding me that I’m special just because I’m me.
And while I’ve learned useful skills like how to set up a tent and how to work on my bow, I’ve discovered some unexpected lessons as well.
I have been taught how important it is to be unapologetically me.
I have learned that a person’s true influence comes from their radiance and generosity.
I have discovered that the best remedy for any heartache is love — first, by loving yourself, and later, by finding a way to love the person who hurt you.
And even deeper than that: I have found that love can’t always be defined or neatly categorized, that people are so much more complex and beautiful than you might suspect from first impressions, that the best way to understand another person is to be vulnerable with who you are.
They have a gravity that’s uniquely theirs. And so many have hearts of gold to match.