Artist Living

A Birthday in the Clouds as I Make My Way Home

Me Ra Koh

I was finishing up stuff for work a few days ago, so much was running through my mind.  We still needed to pack, tie up loose ends with bills for the next two months…I was also in the midst of conversation with Brian, as all this craziness swirled through my head.  We were sitting at the dining table, when this picture came to my mind.  It felt like I was transported out of the here and now, and I was in this unexpected picture. After we worked with roofing contractors rocky mount nc on our house repair, I quickly went to their house.

The picture was of a familiar beach front in Thailand.  I was on a long tail boat headed to shore.  There was a woman standing on the beach.  She waved out to me.  Her smile was big and free.  I jumped to my feet when I saw her.  It had been so long since I’d had time with her.  I held on to the side of the long tail and waved back.  And then as I sat back down, I felt a sense of shame come over me.  I wanted to suddenly shrink within.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make eye contact when I stood in front of the woman.  I felt like I had failed her.

And then the picture took me to her.  I was standing in front of her.  Her hair was hanging in loose curls around her face.  Her face had been kissed by the sun days and weeks over.  Her eyes were alive and full of love.  The woman was me.

She was the woman I found last year in the jungles of Thailand.  She was the part of me that holds so much love for me—so much that I never knew it was possible to feel so comfortable with myself—so gracious and uncritical.  And when it was time for us to return to the states, I grieved leaving her.  I felt like I had only discovered her—how would her face not fade me after months had gone by?

When I saw her in this picture, she looked at me with an open smile.  And there wasn’t a critical thought in her mind toward me.  She embraced me, held me, and as I sat at the dining table in my Seattle home I started to cry. Brian became quiet having no idea what had happened.  And yet, I think he sensed the moment was an unexpected holy moment.  I cried as I pictured this woman holding me, despite all the ways I feel like I have come short these last couple months.  She held me and smiled through her own tears because she knew that I was home to heal.  I had come back to heal and be renewed—that my tank has been empty for longer than I want to admit…and she had no criticism for this—just joy to have me home.  I held on to this picture as we frantically packed the other day.  I thought of it in the clouds as we fly for hours on end.

A few hours ago, we stepped off the plane in Bangkok.  We’ve flown 17 hours and have one flight and boat ride left.  I walked off the plane into the thick, humid air of Thailand and felt the air itself wrap around me.  I had to stand and take it in.  Something deep inside me responded to the thick humid air, and I felt embraced—surrounded.

I’m not sure what it is but a shift is happening in my spirit, my heart.  We are here for almost two months, and I know that I won’t need to seek out this shift.  It seems to be waiting for me, waiting on the beachfront, waiting for me to discover it with every step.  What more could one want for her birthday, but to feel like she has come home to herself.

Thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes, the beautiful emails and words, thank you for holding us in your arms of support.  I’m excited to have you journey with me over the next seven weeks as I process my time with her on this blog.  I am excited to reacquaint myself with a woman that I have much respect for.  I am excited to learn from her, be quiet with her, and find a way to bring more of her home.  I am excited to redisover how to sit with myself and not feel like the self critic is overbearing.  I am not just excited, I am also scared.  But, but…I am so ready.


Me Ra

p.s.  One other amazing birthday gift that was unexpected…to have SOARORITY go live and see you all enjoying it so much!  Every time we land and have a couple hours to wait for the next flight, I’ve had a blast seeing more and more of you ladies on there!   Yeah-yeah-yeah!


  1. Nicky says:

    How exciting for you guys! I am praying for you to be refreshed and renewed!!

    Happy Birthday!

  2. Billie says:

    Me Ra you write so beautifully. I always have to get the tissues out when I pull up your blog. I am so envious that you get to go and have this time with the curly headed, sun kissed you. I hope you have a wonderful time getting to know her again.

    Happy Birthday and God Bless you and your entire family during this time of renewal.


  3. Hanifa says:

    absolutely beautiful…..I pray that you find all that you need to replenish ur soul and much more. Cheers and happy b-day!

  4. jeramy says:

    great post happy birthday to you. soak it up take care. see you soon.

  5. Nickie says:

    Beautiful post you deserve this much needed brake. Have a wonderful time with your family and happy B-day!!!

  6. Rhonda Kane says:

    Happy Birthday!!!

  7. Happy Birthay to beautiful you!MeRa- Enjoy spending time with the lovely women that is you! I’m sure she has missed her time with you these past few months. Embrace her and love her-bask in the adventure and healing that will come from returning home. Much Love…Have FUN and again Happiest of Birthdays to you!

  8. Sue Christianson says:

    Beautiful MeRa! I LOVE this post. You are so beautiful and what you have expressed here has touched my heart!

    Love you! Happy Birthday!!!!!!

    Love, Sue

  9. Jane says:

    This was such a wonderful post! I also feel when I get away that I find myself again. Have a wonderful 2 mos, lots of photos, and may the sun brighten your heart!

  10. Linda S. says:

    Happy Birthday!! Hope you can relax, renew your soul, and just breathe. =)

  11. Have a wonderful time away and have the happiest birthday/rebirth day time while you are away… all that is good for you is so good for all of us who follow you. Thank you for taking this time… enjoy and travel safely! 🙂

  12. MWAH! Love-a Love-a you! Happy 21st birthday! Enjoy!

    Oh yeah, this post was boo-tee-ful! Loved it!

  13. Freida says:

    What an intimate and beautiful post… thank you for taking the time to share it. Hoping you enjoy your time away…

  14. Linda Baylis says:

    Absolutely beautiful just like you. Enjoy this special time with this very special woman. You do so much for others I am glad you are doing this for you. Love you and all that you are.

  15. Charisse says:

    You are such an inspiration to so many, especially me. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself, in such a beautiful way. I pray that your time home, with the you that so many of us see (your internal beautY) will be transforming and renewing in every way possible. Enjoy you. Celebrate you. Get reacquainted with you. And then Thank GOD for YOU!

    You are a such a blessing! It’s your turn to be BLESSED!
    Love you!

  16. Julie Watts says:

    Wow. What a healing mental journey you took yourself on. You rekindle my yearn to keep learning how to do that. Well, you and The Artist’s Way!! My favorite get away place is the treehouse we built for the kids…but I read your Thailand posts outloud to Brent last year and am looking forward to doing THAT again MORE that I was looking forward to American Idol….what will it feel like to be BACK again to Thailand? I can’t wait to feel it.

  17. ajira says:

    Happy birthday Me Ra. I can relate to your experiences described in this post. I wish you a peaceful, joyful and renewing time! Sending you all many blessings!

  18. kym says:

    #3 love it, it show all of us at a time of are life’s when it was worry free.