“Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.” ~ M. Scott Peck
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There’s nothing quite as magical as a new friendship. Be it through a hobby, lifestyle similarities, a child’s play buddy, a neighbor, a grocery store clerk — just about any little old thing can set the stage for match-making. My most endearing friendships have sparked spontaneously, with little work and effort put in on my part. Those lasting connections just…happen.
My dearest friend in life is one I never would have chosen for a mate, yet somehow it’s our whole selves that complement one quite another nicely. Twenty years of friendship has certainly seen its ups and downs — mostly ups, thankfully. Early on, while only friends, there was an unshakable feeling that our friendship would be for life, even if we wound up married to other people. That’s not the way it ended up, of course, and after a string of on’s and off’s — including a months-long romance that spanned 2,000 miles — Scott and I happily settled into something akin to a wonderful, comfortable pair of old shoes. Keaton-and-Allen style.
The best of friends can be counted on my fingers alone. These are people who, for one reason or another, get to share a deeper, more lasting connection with me, through all of my changes, whatever they may be. And I have gone through so many changes. With them, it just feels good to be in my own skin, never guarded, and they get to enjoy my whole self, not just the watered-down version everyone else gets. These friends really “get” me.
Last month, after knowing each other for nearly a year, and more recently, in nearly daily contact, we felt it was about dang’d time for our families to meet. Enchanted Rock in Texas seemed the fitting place for these most unusual friends. A local brewery set the stage for our meeting, and we sealed our friendship with a cold draft from the tap.
True friendships transcend any social boundary. Gender, age, race, physical distance — none of them matter when two people are meant for each other. We can learn much from those who are most not like ourselves, ones we might barely get along with if living under the same roof. I guess in a sense, opposites attract.
What about the rock? There are two.
The big rock is what we climbed. While the boys and I made the hike to the top of the pluton formation of pink granite for which the park is named, Bob and his wife, Ann, hung back in the wooded areas around the base for some birding opportunities and to play with his new camera.
As for the little rock, I keep that one in my pocket to remind me how precious friendship is. With each delicate touch of my finger tips, it brings to mind all the friends I’ve made over the decades, the ones who have come and gone from my life, each at just the right time, in perfectly the right place. Enchanting, all. Collectively, they make me who I am today.
As for Bob and Shannon? That is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.