I remember the globe my family kept in the living room when I was a child. At that point in my life, my world was pretty small. Nice parents, a silly brother, some family, and a smattering of friends and teachers. Before I was 10, I don't think I ever left Southern California. I'd look at the globe, spin it halfway around, and gaze at China. Halfway around the world. And yet, so tiny on the map.
When I was 20, my tiny world began unfolding at an exponential rate. As I grew up, I learned how distances actually could be compressed to the point of becoming inconsequential. With a bit of pluck and a few extra pennies, those distances could be traversed in a single plane flight. But standing on the Great Wall of China when I was 20 was only the beginning. Since then, there have been loves. There have been degrees and jobs earned. There have been trips taken and trips cancelled. There have been family members lost, and family members born.
|Grove of Aspens|
What I notice as I've gotten older is the way the friendships I've made on the playground, on the yoga mat, and in the teachers' lounge have quietly guided our lives. We no longer happen to be friends. Our lives have been shaped by each other, and it's as if we are now inextricably linked. I think of the way Aspens grow--their roots are intertwined, as if they were a family. Chop one down and the whole colony could die.
Had you told the little girl with the globe about the experiences that lay before her, she would have said no one's heart would be big enough to bear them. And yet, it seems the heart grows like some magical oddity--Harry Potter and the Infinitely Expanding Heart!
Thanks to my dear friends for letting those roots mingle...