A friend of mine came to visit from Utah last week. I've known her since kindergarten. We had chicken pox together. We had sleepovers together. We had our share of arguments and upsets, I'm sure, but looking back over the expanse of 41 years, the things I remember are the banana pancakes, the laughter, the Archie comics, and her cool poodle who could play fetch better than any other dog I've known.
It felt like we were five years old again and no time at all had elapsed. We fell right back into conversation as if the long separation since my move to Canada had never happened. We remembered so much - and we have so many memories in common - that it was like a deep conversation with myself. I think I learned some things, too: that she had the same insecurities and fears, the same challenges and hopes that I do. I felt we understood each other instantly, without having to say anything - though we talked more in that week than I've talked in a month. I felt so good knowing she was willing and happy to come all this way to visit me. It's not every person who would leave five kids and come to a foreign country to help an old friend weed her garden. We're plotting how to marry our kids off to each other so we can end up in-laws and thus ensure we never will lose track of each other. (Are you reading this, kids?)
Ostensibly the visit was to celebrate our birthdays together, which are close together. In reality, it was to celebrate a lifetime of friendship. Close together.