I have found myself recently thinking about old friends. Sure, I have most of them available to me at my fingertips via Facebook and the magic of the interwebz, but that doesn’t mean I feel the same connection I used to feel. At home, I have numerous gifts from the people who meant the most to me during my high school years. A photograph from Glacier National Park with kind words written on the back. A copy of Stranger in a Strange Land that was a gift. A note from a friend folded into Snoopy book that had been a gift from another friend.
These were the people I loved so fiercely and with such passion that there was no question that I would have died for them and even killed for them had that been necessary (it never was).
Those connections have drifted over the years, though when I think of them today that same fierce love still burns inside me. I wonder if, as a 38 year old, I’m supposed to feel that kind of fierce passion. Is that reserved for the younger generation? The current teenagers who burn so brightly and have such passion? The ones who know that they can never be wrong and who know so much better than the adults?
Didn’t we also know better? Were we right? Sometimes we were, but most of the time we weren’t.
I can talk about the time I spent in Maine growing up, but the truth is that in terms of friends, I didn’t have a ton that touched me as deeply as my Colorado friends did. It’s no offense to them, they were great people and I did have a deep care for them at the time, but when I returned to Colorado I was home and the friends I made during that time were the ones I would carry with me in my heart.
Out of college I moved back to Colorado and then to the Pacific Northwest where I was put up by two of my old high school friends. They would put me up a second time a couple of years later when I bounced from Oregon back to the Seattle area. In both Portland and Seattle, I had friends who had deeply touched my heart and my soul during my younger years and I felt at peace and at home, for the most part.
How I ended up back in Maine is a story that I may one day tell, but suffice to say, this is where I am today. 3000 miles away from some of the people who mean the most to me in the world – but right at home with my little family. My wife has very close friends here in Maine and owns a business. It isn’t likely, barring the sudden publication and subsequent 52 weeks on the best seller lists that we would even considering moving, but that doesn’t mean my heart doesn’t ache for those green, rainy winter days that were always so perfect.
If you know me in person, you may know that I talk about how much I love winter and don’t mind the snow. In the Pacific Northwest, I loved winter and welcomed the rain. I miss the green and I miss the rain.
But what I really miss are my friends.