I have always thought that I was the caterpillar to her butterfly. Grounded... too grounded perhaps. I see what is right in front of me. I move more slowly. Not particularly graceful, as my tumble in the parking lot at Cardiac Rehab would attest. Not colorful or light. My roots are deep and I have never ventured too far from home.
She appears fearless. Facing strong winds and hale storms with powdered wings and nonchalance.
And yet, one can't live life to its fullest without the other. One gives time and attention to the earth, the other to the sky. We share what we treasure. We don't envy. We never wonder what we might be missing.
I thought I was afraid to fly, but it isn't fear it's choice, just as she isn't afraid of roots, she simply chooses to fly untethered.
I love the smell of moist earth. The feel of it beneath my feet. Today, my toenails are bright candy apple red and they sang loud songs as I filled the thistle sacks for the gold finch. They caught my eye when I was mowing my tiny patch of new grass with bare feet and made me smile. My wardrobe is mostly black and white... and well worn denim. Maybe a throw back to a past life spent in a convent. I enjoy the secret of my splash of color when I lace my boots for work.
My butterfly friend's hair was once the color of my brightly stained toenails and she wore it with grace and brilliance. She walked the streets of downtown Reston with a parasol on a sunny afternoon wearing silk and sandals. We were the epitome of a dichotomy.
I miss my friend. She is West Coast, I am East. But the wonder of our friendship is that our hearts beat to the same rhythm. We feel compassion and gratitude and sadness and joy and no matter how much time or distance falls quietly between us, we remain connected.
I don't always tell my friends how much I love them. We crawl through the blades of our lives or catch a warm current and lift, lift... high enough to see only the watercolor world below, but we remain forever connected.
This weekend is our 39th class reunion. I am so happy that so many friends from so long ago will renew their connections. I will miss them, but other dear friends from far away will be visiting us, and we will enjoy that lifelong connection as well.
I didn't know where my thoughts would ramble when I started with the photo of the butterfly but I suppose I have landed where I intended all along...to say to all of you who have landed in this moment with me, thank you. Thank you for friendships that have only grown more precious with time. Friendships that celebrate difference and delight in similarity.
Can you imagine a world where everyone is the same..... Ben and Jerry might have quit after Vanilla for goodness' sake~