Our backsides are widening and our friends have expanded ideologically.
We focus on travel, R&R, what’s for dinner, and some exercise for balance. Their concerns are the state of the planet and deep thinking.
Approaching five decades, often on opposite coasts, we’ve come together to share joys and sorrows. We’ve also experienced growing pains and inexplicable heartbreak within the friendship.
What were we thinking? Why on earth would we look forward to and endure an overnight on a train from the west coast to the new home of old friends relocated in Albuquerque?
In this case, the proof was in the pudding, or more correctly, in the Herbal Remedy concocted by our hosts to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I suppose the Jameson made it Irish. The basil and mint made it green. With more honey in the orange, lemon and lime juices, and an extra shot or so of whiskey, it was palatable. And celebratory.
Ultimately, the attraction was purely physical. Vast skies, serious sunsets, the Sandias, Rio Grande and Tent Rocks took our breath away, and not just because of the 4,000-6,000′ elevation. Climbing far-out foothills, meandering voluptuous hoodoos and biking in and around this fine city brought awareness. And appreciation.
Our friends have crafted the art of being excellent hosts. They introduced us fondly to local art, culture, cuisine and places they’ve discovered. Welcoming us to their new abode and an array of physical activities and challenges, they demonstrated their gift for adaptation to this new way of life. And yet more growth as individuals and as a couple.
In between belly laughs, mouthfuls of red and green chiles, blue corn pancakes and heavenly carne adovada, we recognized a familiar bond. There it was during the uke jam sessions. Again at the river’s edge. As we munched oranges and nuts among towering formations. In the shadow of the San Gregorio de Abo Ruins. And sitting on the front porch evaluating the landscape project.
We’ve evolved and changed courses, yet this friendship remains intact. We will nurture it and hope that our shared exhuberance for life, commitment to each other and family, and the exhilaration of grandchildren will carry us on.
We are lucky that time, good fortune and sensibility have allowed us to revisit acquantances in a new light.
Truly, we are blessed by our differences.