I met Maya in 1997. Which feels like a million lifetimes ago.
I’ve never been one to have a lot of friends. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert at heart or perhaps it’s because I’m super picky by nature. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time alone or with my family. But, back in 1997, after I had recently moved to Marin, I found myself lonely and longing for someone to hang out with, a girlfriend to call and share my life. So much so that I prayed often for someone to please show up.
Back then I had long hair. Really long. And it had been that way for many years. I don’t think I had cut it since I was 15. I’m not sure why exactly, but I felt like it was time, time to chop it all off. It was a big decision and I didn’t want to just go anywhere to have it cut. I did some research and came across a salon called diPietro Todd in Mill Valley. By luck or by fate, when I went in for my consultation, a beautiful young woman walked out. She was stylish and cute and going to transform ‘who I had been’ into ‘who I was becoming’.
I felt something, besides the nervousness and excitement of what was in store. A connection to Maya I guess you would say. While we spent that time together, her cutting off my long locks that had become more than just a part of me, I found myself wondering if she had room in her life for a new friend. Someone like me.
I left that moment, that experience of having my hair cut, giddy. She had done just what I had been hoping for, but I quickly realized that there was something wrong. I had left and I didn’t have a reason to talk to her again for another 6-8 weeks. THAT just wouldn’t do. So I thought about it and called for a little “touch up” the next day, which she had told me I could do if I wanted. So, the very next day I walked back into the salon, bagel in hand as a gift and mid-day snack for her, and mustered up the courage to ask if she would want to hang out sometime. Whew, I had done it and lucky for me, she said yes!
Now, there’s so much more to this story that I could talk about. How the first concert we went to was a women’s only Crash Worship show where they threw wine and honey and chocolate all over the crowd as we danced to the music and drums. Or how she brought me to Burning Man for the first time which was a life changer for sure. Or how she introduced me to Landmark, which not only transformed my life but my relationship with my mom which I thought would never be more than disappointing. Needless to say, we became fast and furious best friends, laughing ’till dawn, exploring the world around us and having fun, lots of fun. The most fun I had ever had up until then actually. I truly felt like my prayers had been answered. Life was good.
And as life goes, things change and people change. Maya met her husband and became pregnant. She had a home birth that I had the honor of being a part of. Maya’s mom is a mid-wife so she facilitated everything, which was a good thing because Milo, her soon to be born son, was 10 lbs! YES! 10 lbs. But Maya did it. She had that baby in the comfort of her home which was in a small house at the bottom of the driveway of the house that I lived in. It was a pretty sweet set up and made it easy to hang out.
As the years passed, life moved us in similar yet different directions. Now we find ourselves busy with our lives, our children, work etc. You can still find Maya at diPietro Todd and she still cuts my hair but we don’t spend as much time together as we did back then. But I can tell you one thing for certain, Maya will always hold a special place in my heart and my life. She is a bright light in this world and brings love to those around her. I am forever grateful for her friendship and am so happy to have had the opportunity to photograph her with her beautiful son, who I can hardly believe is 12 and in middle school.
What a journey this has been and continues to be…
Here they are…Maya & Milo
And as a special treat to myself, at the end of the shoot, I let Milo take the camera which created an awesome opportunity for me to have my picture taken with my friend of 18 years. He did a GREAT job and I will treasure the photos forever.