Destin, Florida

Comfort people; a lot like comfort food, I think. They are just what you need after a long, hard day. They know you, they understand you, they warm your soul, they make you feel as if where they are is where you belong.

These people are yours. They allow you to come as you are. They know the good, the bad, the ugly, and more often than not have known you for years. But what about those people who somehow make your soul feel at home upon an initial name exchange? Those people who hardly know anything but your name and your face, but somehow have the ability to make you feel welcomed, accepted, and loved. Kristen Blanton and Matt Jazowiak are two of those people.

Two months ago Jeremy and I pulled up to a dark campsite in his newly owned (but perfectly worn) pick-up truck after exploring a Pedernales Falls sunset. Grill in one hand, bottle of champagne in the other, we walked up and there we shook the hands of Kristen and Matt; him for the second time, me for the first.

What followed was a night of delightful conversation, huevos, moonlight chuckles, and a light-hearted “you guys should come visit Florida.” A look exchange and a shrug later, our tickets were booked.

Fast-forward three weeks and there we were, feet on the ground in the not-so-sunshiny state. The weekend was cold, rainy, and windy; but no matter how hard it tried, the crummy weather couldn’t keep the sunshine of Kristen & Matt & co. from reaching us.  Art pop-ups, local food, beaches, laughs, quality conversation, a hilarious younger brother, boat rides, dolphins, and hearts sprinkled with gold made the weekend one to remember.

Looking back on the trip, I can’t help but think of the quote “Genuinely good people are like that. The sun shines out of them. They warm you right through.” (Michael Morpurgo Alone on a Wide Wide Sea).  The weather was cold, the sky was dark, but these people my goodness THESE PEOPLE. They were kind and warm and the sun was shining out of them right through us.

I keep that weekend in my back pocket and occasionally pull it out to remind myself of the power I have to affect others. A reminder that the good I do today will not be forgotten tomorrow. A reminder that, although life can be hard and broken and crummy and dark, maybe I have the ability to create a little sunshine here. Maybe my soul really DOES have the capacity to create lasting affect on the person next to me.

Maybe yours does, too.

Big thanks to Lauren Simpson for taking the time to write this post.