a meeting of selves

by willeya

you know those people whose face you’ve seen in so many lights, at so many ages, with so many emotions?  the ones you could paint blind from the many memories.

i have a few of those.

you know those moments with those people where you do what you talked about doing oh so many years ago?  and the moment is exactly how you thought it would be but you could have never in a million years guessed the story that you got there.

i had one of those tonight.

The moment was dinner.  On the way back from the store we spoke of the twilight sky {it was incredible} and what we could make.  after unloading the kids and the groceries, we went straight to it.  she to the garden, i to the stove.  after awhile the babies were restless.  we strapped them on our backs and kept going.  near the end, we landed next to each other, my baby reaching across to hers.

it hit me then and i said so.

“mandi, look at us. we’re doing it”.

not a very clear thing to say, i’m afraid.  but what i meant is that what we had imagined-hoped-longed-giggled for so many times so many years ago…was happening.

women – not girls – with a family.  the boys we pined over for evenings at a time are now the fathers of our children.

it was as good as i imagined it to be, this moment.  maybe better.

yet – looking across the stove at my friend tonight – our stories hold so much more {and less} than we could have stood to know back then.  there was no way of guessing the shifts – inside and out – that lay ahead; or how desperately we needed them.  so much tragic, brilliant life stands between us then and us now.

those sophomore girls on that top bunk would have been pretty sobered and greatly impressed by these women tonight, i think. i can see them squealing, wondering how they could be as wise and strong as we.  and we?

we laugh and talk of them fondly, feeling great compassion, grace, and delight for these young ones.

i hope we have many more exchanges like this – mandi and me – between our young and old selves.  so much of our story is yet unwritten and we long to be wiser, more loving still.

the moment was brief but i think i will remember it forever.

ps.  i have named mandi’s new five acre home in the country “eden”.  it looks feels sounds smells evokes fulfills much like i suppose the garden did.  it will be hard to leave, for sure.  pictures to come.