March 21, 2004

Worlds Apart are Close Together

I just got off the phone with a good friend, we were on the phone for nearly 3 hours and we had not spoken in months. This is a friend from college, in college we were roommates and very alike - we had nearly everything in common and many of the same ideals and goals for our lives. Now we are still close yet our lives at times can seem so far apart. Still our ideals and goals are very much the same and we still have a lot of common ground - though we have more differences now. Still the bond we have is strong.

This friend has been at my side within hours of the birth of all three of my children - despite living in a different part of the country (and sometimes a different continent) at the time. She was present at Ciaran's birth and watched Ciaran and Rhiannon for Sirah's birth. She had just returned from Africa before Rhiannon's birth and was leaving for Africa again shortly after Sirah's birth. Still she found time and circumstances to be with our family during these special times.

If you met both of us today and did not know us say 10 years ago you might be shocked we are friends. Tonight she was telling me about her new home and I had to ask the question if she had running water (she often does not) and was not surprised when she said no. She also has solar panels and fuelpowered refrigeration and a wood stove. She is not living iin Africa - currently she lives in the mountains of Colorado. She has an outhouse and a small A frame house and she is very content with her living quarters. As she said she would much rather have a small dwelling space and a large piece of land to roam on.

Then there is me. A big house in the suburbs, a minivan, a wireless network house with 4 computers, a robotic vacuum cleaner and a ton of other modern conveniences. Our lives can seem so far apart.

Yet they are not that far apart - we share a history - but we also share dreams of the future and hopes for our lives. We both want to make the world a better place (though we may disagree about how to get there), we both want to simplify our lives (though we do that in different ways) and we both are so used to being the odd one out.

It is enriching to my life and the life of my family to be a part of her life and have her a part of ours. Despite our differences I am so thankful that we have stayed close. We have had many ups and downs in our relationship and it seems we go through phases - but it truly is special to have someone you can connect that way with - even as you grow up to be different than you thought you would be and different from each other.


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