In a moment's breather, I stood behind the counter and surveyed the packed house. That's when I saw her down at the counter's end where she stood scanning the choices of appetizers before her. She'd arrived sometime during the night's hustle at my daughter, Grace Goad's, solo exhibition reception at The Artery Gallery in Greensboro, NC, this past Saturday. She was an young adult and I knew, that like Grace, she was special. I came from behind the counter and introduced myself. She told me her name and came with me willingly when I asked her to walk over and meet Grace.
I've only experienced one of these magical moments, as a curious bystander, maybe three times in Grace's life. Several around me saw it Saturday night and felt the heart-opening energetic spark that occurred the minute Grace and the young woman locked eyes. It was as if the moment they met, their eyes simultaneously lit up, exchanging sparks of energy. Their faces followed suit, lighting up and their smiles matched. All at the same time, Grace got up from the stool where she was perched and moved toward the young woman and stretched out her hand for a shake. With their countenance, it was if they were saying: "I know you." To behold, it was bedazzling. Precious. Sacred-like.
I remember the first time I witnessed one of these magical moments. It was in our special needs dentist's office. A family walked in with one of their two adopted sons with autism. I would, 10 years later, profile this special family in my first book, From Heartache to Hope, middle tennessee families living with autism. Christopher was about 14 at the time, Grace only around 3. He came into the waiting room and Grace saw him, stood up and immediately walked to him, just as she did Saturday night with the young woman--as if drawn to him (and her) like a magnet.
Standing nearby, having witnessed this connection in the dentist's office, Grace's father, I and Christopher's mother, all three then looked into each other's watering eyes. Like Saturday night, we knew something special had occurred. We didn't know what exactly. Both times, we bystanders were just that. Akin to aliens witnessing contact with another life form. I guess that sounds crude, perhaps. But WE were the aliens observing them, the special ones making contact on some other level, in some other language and form of communication. Something. Special.
The first time I witnessed one of these connections, from one person with special needs to another, it was back when autism had begun to rise in incidence but then still capped at 1 in 1,000 and not today's 1 in 88. I asked an autism mother-mentor friend of mine if she's witnessed such. Yes, she had. It was the first time her son ever met another young person with autism.
There was a shaman there the night of Grace's reception. I'd met him before during a previous trip. He and his partner knew the young woman and her family. We agreed: it was as if two light bodies were connecting on an energy plane. One higher than our own.
And, yeah. I totally get that this is woo-woo speak for many readers. Still, others will get it. And to all of us I say: there's so much that our finite minds don't understand. And maybe part of it is why so many special people have come to live amongst us at this time. To be continued....
Photo: The artist in one of her many shining moments during Saturday's solo reception.