February 10, 2021
Sometimes we meet people in life and feel an instant soul recognition. We know that on some level we are meant to be in each others lives for reasons beyond what either of us could imagine. I believe that we collide with these kindred spirits through divinely crafted timing to take us to the next level within ourselves or to give affirmation that we are on the right path. These aligned connections are reflections of what we need to see when are ready to see them. Regardless of the type of relationships these manifest in (i.e., romantic vs platonic) or if they last a session or a lifetime, they have the potential to bring forth life-changing experiences.
Friendship with this dear soul, Rachel Clift, is one that I know the Universe had planned for the both of us. We first connected through Instagram when one of her posts landed in my explore feed. There I was, deeply drawn to the words of a stranger who (I thought) lived in Hawaii. I followed @r.cliftpoetry for months reading each of her thoughts as she geo-tagged the far away state. As time continued, I started seeing Knoxville appear on some of her posts. WTF? Then, I recognized photos in her book that were taken at Ijams Nature Center. Seriously!? I don’t follow a lot of people on social media, and for her to stand out meant I had to find out why. After a few DMs, we decided to meet in person since we lived so close to each other.
We met for the first time at her favorite downtown coffee shop, the one where she would bring her typewriter and sit out on the sidewalk writing street poetry for gentle souls who stopped by. We literally talked for hours pouring our hearts out like we were lifelong friends, and I found myself telling her stories I had never told another person. I left the conversation feeling so inspired to write a book and share pieces of my own stories about traveling, self-discovery, and love.
Last fall, Rachel and I took a road trip to North Carolina for an adventure in the mountains while sharing stories of our pasts and of our journeys to becoming the women we are today. She listened as I rambled endlessly about my beliefs, life experiences, pain, and love and held space for emotions to expand. I’m so thankful the Universe put us in this life together, although I’m certain this is just one of many lifetimes we’ve shared.
she is one with nature
dancing among golden wildflowers
as they sway to the same rhythm
singing a gentle hymn to the mountains
as winds carry her notes as their own
– Julie Crawford
North Carolina // October 2020
Stuck on what to pick for your wedding vows and don’t want to write your own? Rachel wrote some metaphysical-inspired vows straight from the cosmos (read on this blog post) that will touch your soul. She has freely released this poem for anyone who wants to use it in their own elopement ceremony wording.