Each moment we have is a window in time. We cannot duplicate the picture; it's given to us for just that, the moment. The constant ebb and flow of each season in life keeps us ever-changing, even in the quiet places.
When we spend time with friends from afar it is always sweet and the memories we make together are treasured in my heart because those times together change us, enrich us and (hopefully) make us a better version of ourselves. When life throws the impossible at us, we can keep moving forward and keep hope in our hearts through the strength we are given by those who love us and whom we love well.
As an adult I now comprehend how profound was the influence of other adults - beloved friends of my parents - who invested their time, energy and love into my sisters and me. I am so grateful as I watch my own beloved friends investing in the lives of my children, and knowing that their willingness to build into them, admonish them, challenge them, inspire them will alter the course of my boy's lives, for the better.
Recently, I have realized that I find comfort in the familiar... in the tree that waits for me at the top of "my hill" every day, in the breve latte from my favorite coffee shop with my favorite baristas, in the relative sameness of my morning routine. It fosters a sense of belonging. In every hike up my hill I find something new (in myself and in what is around me), inspirational and I'm always surprised by it! Each time I see my favorite baristas and order the same drink ("The Eryn"), I learn more about them and my love for them, as individuals, as fellow humans, grows richer. I care about the things that happen in their lives, I cry with them, I laugh with them, I hurt for them, I rejoice with them, because I know them and that matters. In this culture, time period we live in, so much is superficial and the notion of shared lives is all but lost. We replace the repetition of coffee shop encounters with drive-thru purchases at the most convenient caffeine distributor in our busy rush to the next big thing, or simply the next thing on our list. We sacrifice face-to-face (heart-to-heart) conversations to our cell phones and iPads. We seek new adventures when we should be relishing the beauty of the familiar. I love and pursue adventure, but ultimately it is the life where I am rooted, in the familiar, in the simple treasures of what I know deeply, that I value most. It is the deeply vested relationships near and far that give me wings to fly, or simply feet to keep walking. :-)