Last weekend one of my dearest and longest-held friends got married.
As my airplane drew closer and closer to the squares of land marking off fields and backyards, properties ending and beginning, I felt a strange ownership of the land. This was the land I was born on, this was the earth I spent some of my most formative years crawling, walking, dancing and running. On this section of earth I became an adult, this state brought me love and on this section of the planet some of the most wonderful people still live.
I drove across the flat highway, over the typical pot holes. I saw my high school’s cross country team running the same routes I ran so many years ago. I went to breakfast and ran into people I’ve known from long ago. I parked my rental car on the cement my dad paved for my 1995 Toyota. I walked and wondered past the house I used to own. And I walked back into my life there, in that state, for a brief weekend.
In high school, I had two best friends. There were many, many challenges of being 17 years old and balancing a group of three, it was always off balance. But we loved each other, and we loved each other hard. We laughed a lot, we belly laughed. We ate cookie dough like a butter drought would start the next day. We were imaginative, we wore our emotions on our sleeves and we were in some ways more free than the adulthoods we’ve chosen allow us to be these days.
We had the opportunity to bring this back, even just for a moment. With my dear friend’s wedding day fast approaching, we paused time for just a second to be with one another again. The roles we played in this pod of three girls all came back. A single glance held years of time, of recognition.
We bought pre-made cookie dough and chowed down in the living room of my soon-to-be-a-Mrs. friend. We laid on the floor and laughed over memories of a decade ago. We listened to the challenges each is facing in this current day. We took selfies because, selfies. We tried on our dresses just like we did for prom.
This time together was one of the greatest gifts I have been given. I no longer know the ins and outs of these women’s daily lives. I don’t get to hear about petty frustrations or the last meal one of them ate. One is a mom, one is a new wife and I live abroad with my husband. Our lives look very different at the moment, but there is still a mysterious thread that weaves them together. Every once in a while it threads its way to a place and time where we are reunited, where the gift that began as friendship so long ago continues to grow.
As my dear friend walked down the aisle, a phrase continued over and over in my head. “We are all just making our way in this world.” And my heart was at rest. Our lives look very different, making our way has meant very different things to each of us. We are a mom learning to mother, working full time and growing a family. We are a traveler who keeps on the move pursuing the next adventure. We are a wife, entering the new and exciting world of marriage. And we are all making our way in this world.