This has been a happy month. Sure crap is going on in everyday life, it always does, but I had the great good fortune of visiting with two high school classmates and best friends..
David who lives comparatively nearby to my home in Massachusetts splits time between New York City and the Berkshires. He joined my extended family for Easter dinner where his arrival was more highly anticipated by everyone in the group than some oversized rabbit bearing candy. Actually, David brought candy, some fancy, quickly devoured Belgian chocolates, so he did have that going for him. But to see him in the kitchen whipping cream for the pending desserts was just like old times where everyone was expected to help out. In my David-depleted mind, he’d been upgraded to superhero guest star, at least until he arrived. Once in our midst we all reverted to our roles of long ago, though we do seem to have moved beyond the holiday food fight stage (I will find those pictures one day).
I owe my visit with Lisa to David.
Being with one close friend from high school really made me yearn for the others, so I reached out to Lisa and shared a photo from David’s Easter visit. Coincidentally she would be passing through Boston in a couple of weeks with a two day window while traveling between lives in Switzerland and Oregon. This lady (who by the way naturally looked radiant despite rampant jet lag and a schedule packed as tightly as a presidential visit) called for a camera-free day and I was happy to oblige in return for a chance to simply reconnect. I cleared my schedule beyond one meeting saying “any time, anywhere, I will be there.”
Each visit lasted only a few hours but those hours resulted in a physiological and emotional change that was so palpable I want to share it as a caution to others who have dear, dear friends that they can’t quite seem to work into their schedules.
The sense I receive when meeting up with these hugely important people in my life is two-fold:
First, there was this sense of relief and release, like I could finally breath as if subconsciously I had been holding my breath until we met again. In this case that was a several year wait. The breath of fresh air they brought felt life reviving. I was finally at ease.
Second, I experienced a wave of love. My mind was just conjuring one word over and over again: “love,love, love”, which is pretty much what a wiggly butt dog thinks when its person finally gets home. It is some sort of primal response that couldn’t be articulated beyond that word so my brain put it on repeat. The best way to explain it was that my heart had been longing to reconnect even before my mind understood the need and the heart was saying – “Do you get it now? Love love love.” as if attempting to fix in my mind the importance of taking time for old friends despite changing directions of divergent lives.
Today I watched a video from CBS News about two friends who agreed 40 years ago using two halves of a dollar bill to meet up and share a visit last week. They’d gone their separate ways but the promise made was still made good. CBS News 40 year reunion. They split another dollar bill, with a one year date for the next reunion. I just wish I’d seen the video before I’d seen my friends. Now I’ll be sending out paper half dollars to seal our deal to visit more often. That kind of financial investment in a friendship coupled with a specific date will make it more likely to happen than vague promises to keep in touch. And maybe if I split $100 bills we could tape them back together to pay for a nice restaurant dinner or $2o for most of a little lunch when we meet.
And I will make this commitment before my head has the chance to use logic and logistics to push away the need for more of that “Love love love”. If you are willing, I will be spending more time with all of you and many more of my list of long lost friends!
(And as an added bonus, also in the last month, I had lunch with a college friend I hadn’t seen in ages . And though this story may be dedicated to my oldest high school friends, Betty added to my general feeling of joy as well.)