Glad to have a Friend like Kim

I had dinner with a friend from college recently. When she wrote to tell me she was passing through town there was no question in my mind that I would meet her. She wrote, I cleared my calendar and a date was set for the next night.

I woke the next morning to bright sunny skies with a few high clouds. I went about my household chores all morning and most of the afternoon. All the while, clouds were gathering outside. A chance of rain had been predicted, but a chance is just a chance and did not merit concern. 

SF Bay Adventure 1998
When it came time to get in the car and head toward our rendezvous point, the clouds had burst. The pounding rain demanded that the windshield wipers be set to high. If the dinner date were with a business associate or new acquaintance, I would have seen the storm as foreboding and either been timid about the meeting or considered a cancellation. I was meeting Kim, however, and the wet skies could not deter my spirit.

After 30 minutes of treacherous driving with my husband at the helm, we arrived at our destination. We ran through the parking lot dodging cars and rain drops, slowing only to pull open the heavy restaurant doors. We arrived before Kim and her husband and requested a large table. Once tucked in with our appetizer and first round of drinks we sat quietly, watching the rain outside and waiting for our friends.

Before the last sip of my drink, she appeared. She had been traveling and blogging for the last few months from afar and now she was here with me. We ordered another round of drinks and she and her husband shared tales from their travels. Everything she said was foreign yet familiar. Foreign because my world is knee-deep in parenthood and writing and familiar because all the stories shared were coming from a friend.

Friendship is an incredible thing. A true friend has no pretense. Time together is cherished and never worn. She talked about living in Norway and skiing in Germany. The stories were new but told with a familiar tenor; like hearing your favorite band playing new song. The rain continued to fall outside, but inside there was no storm. We were content and warm, basking in friendship and merriment.
Unexpected Visit Summer 2009
When the night ended and we said good-bye, it was not hard nor sad. We both knew there would be another meet-up or dinner or phone call. Just like the storm outside was unexpected, so too was the visit from my friend. The rainstorm nourished the earth and time with my friend nourished my soul.

post script: Whenever we're together we belt out lines from our favorite childhood album: Free to Be You and Me. I brought the album with me to college, she spied it in my room and we played it over and over, singing at the top of our lungs. The title of this blog is inspired by the last track on the album.