We hit the ground running – forward focused – not keeping track of where each other was going, spraying out in all directions for colleges, careers – somewhere, anywhere, – determined to not look back.
In hindsight, we were probably all hoping to find friendships pretty much like the ones we were leaving behind.
Years smoothed into decades, and here we are – not too far away from half a century later. Not all of us keep in touch, but a meaningful some of us still do.
Curiously enough, the virus has enabled us, or compelled us – to talk even more. Maybe we have new time on our hands, and certainly the kids getting older has afforded us extra hours to fill, and wouldn’t it be nice if we have grown a little wiser to realize that this is a thing worth holding onto – this friendship.
We hop on a Zoom meeting once a month or so, and in that space there is quick comfort and familiarity.
Her giggle is still the same, her sound effects are still hilarious, her wiseness remains the calm voice of reason.
We laugh and and joke and reminisce.
We see each other now, but woven into that view is how we knew each other then; it’s all melded into an admirable notion of who we are to each other. Not many have the privilege to receive or bestow a perspective that is layered with time like that.
We tell each other how we were back then.
“What? I did that? Are you sure? I don’t remember that!”
“Well, you did and you were!”
We fill in the gaps and laugh some more.
It never gets old – even though we are kind of getting that way.
We make bridges to guide each other over the years we were apart, having gone separate ways for decades, pusuing careers, meeting spouses, discovering ourselves. How fortunate we are to be navigating a circle that still embraces each other as it comes around again.
We catch up about jobs, retirement, family, kids. Who’s moving out, who’s coming back, and how they are doing. We muse aloud about when to step in, and when to step back and let them figure it out – those kids. It’s a grand comfort to learn that my thoughts are often their thoughts, and my challenges are lighter carried on the shoulders they offer me, rather than just my own.
The time we shared back then was an investment we didn’t even know we were making.
It was a frenzied collision of fun, spontaniety, and drama. It opened up a space that – over time and through living – has become a treasured cache of who we are as individuals, and who we are to each other. Not many know us as well as we know each other.
This fellowship is irreplaceable by virtue of the sheer amount of time it has remained intact, substantive, and life-giving. And in spite of the years and because of those years
it is delightful to find
it’s still us.