I saw my best friend, S., from childhood last year. It did not matter that we are now middle-aged and that we have missed decades of each other’s lives. We talked for hours about the years that shaped us and things we might have sensed as teenagers but never discussed then – family secrets, private struggles. What a gift to talk about the past, with someone who knew me in a way that no one I met afterwards could ever know me. Long forgotten memories surfaced as we visited our old school together and roamed the streets we knew so well. We gave each other insights that made us more complete, pieces of understanding that connect our adult personality and ways of being with the distant life of childhood and adolescence. I miss her across the Atlantic Ocean.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. Anais Nin
We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over. – Ray Bradbury
I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. – Plutarch
It seems more difficult to establish close friendships as we age (or is that just my experience?). Opportunities to get to know each other deeply and to bond through long conversations and unhurried activities are rare in a fast-paced culture. And so I feel very blessed to have found another friend in recent years. Unlike S. who comes from the same country and culture as I do, my new friend A. comes from a very different culture, with a different language and religion, even a different socioeconomic background.
During these dangerous times of turning those who are different from ourselves into the “other” (and, too often, into the “enemy”), our cross-cultural friendship is particularly precious to me. We do share a lot of things in common: love for nature, literature and writing, life-long learning, standing up for our values, compassion for those less fortunate, pride in being an accomplished professional in our respective fields, maneuvering through American culture as a member of a multi-racial, multi-cultural family.
And – we love taking our cameras for a walk!
We have gotten up at an ungodly hour, wandering along the beach, for the thrill of capturing the sunrise…
and pelicans, appearing out of nowhere, ghost-like, flying inches above the water
I am aware that we get strange looks at times when we walk around together. But, I am hoping, that our friendship will leave its subtle ripples in re-weaving a kinder and more inclusive web of relationships all across this country, all across the world.
To peace and great friendships!
The DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Friend.
Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Precious.