There are times in life where past – present – future seem to fuse into a dream, where memories bubble up like champagne – where wonder and vulnerability occupy the same oxygen, where tests of recall open both windows and wounds.
Renewing friendships, as life unfolds in its zigs and zags offer retrospective glimpses at our younger selves through hopefully wizened filters. Some,times we welcome that clearer appreciation of how tough lessons were softened by opportunities and friendships. But often times we forget.
Back in the ’70’s my husband and I moved from Texas to San Diego for medical residency. We moved away from our families and all we had ever known to embark on a west coast adventure. We were young and strong, we thought… so we took the plunge from student life to adulthood. Life was not easy for any of us swimming through the torrents of becoming a medical family – 100 hour work weeks for my husband meant sacrifice from every angle.
We spouses banded together in common for three years and served as each others’ witnesses to validate the emotions generated by those trials. In particular, my friend Becky and I spent time together. Our babies were born in the same hospital and we were there for each other. We were inseparable for three intense years of stress and pleasure of living on a song in San Diego. We even shared serving short tours in Tuba City, Arizona (Navajo/Hopi communities) with the National Health Service. Again, very intense, which provided first hand experience of reservation life and an an abiding empathy for those who have been unjustly treated.
Over the past forty years, some of us have kept in touch via Xmas cards. But only in the past several weeks did I remember that one of those dear friends lives in Portland, OR… not far from my writing retreat destination in Cannon Beach.
Why I did not think of to contact her on previous trips, I honestly cannot say, except that the time was right for me this time. My friend and I spent a glorious afternoon together. What a gift to have my friend back after four decades had slipped under the bridge! So now, after raising our families and dealing with so much more, we were able to instantly reunite with that same amazing vibe, and yet with a new wisdom gained through experience…. accepting and embracing the elements of both time and crashing ocean surf of Oregon’s paradise, we savored waves of laughter and tears.
To receive such a gift of acceptance and validation anew was renewing beyond measure. Now we can smile at the young braves we once were and somewhat wiser souls we are still becoming – And oh for the days of beach combing – past, present and future… The gift is the light on the water, in the clouds and on our faces…
My heart is full… and I will see Becky again soon!