Saturday, August 19, 2006
One day, a person appeared in my life as quickly as she vanished. She left a footprint on my mind, that has never disappeared.
It was the summer before I would turn 14. The summer of '69. While at sleep-a-way camp for 3 weeks, I would meet a girl named Jenny.
She was smart. Really smart. A bit bohemian, especially for one so young.
I instantly felt a connection with Jenny. She was a cabin-mate...one of maybe 10 other girls.
But she was the one I was drawn to.
We would talk for hours. About nature, the meaning of life, the world in general.
I'm sure I had had meaningful conversations with friends before this, but for some reason, conversations with Jenny were different. They caused me to search my not-so-very-old soul for answers and ideas that I didn't know existed within me.
When we spoke, I didn't feel shy.
When we spoke, I felt smart.
When we spoke, I felt that every word that flowed from my mouth, counted.
As a teenager, I remember that the intensity of friendships was so thick, you could touch it and sometimes, even hold it. Perhaps it's the emergence of hormones, or the fact that identifying with friends takes presidence over identification with our parents. I only know that the strength of adolescent friendships knows no limit.
I would only know Jenny that one summer. A few letters may have followed, but the connection would soon fade.
Years would come and go, but I didn't forget Jenny. I couldn't help but wonder what had become of that young, bohemian mind. I simply wanted a glimpse, but would have to be satisfied with never knowing.
People weave in and out of our lives, much like the yarn that holds together a favorite blanket. And just like a blanket, those people keep us "warm" as they pass through for that brief moment in time. Without one of those people, there would be a hole left in the blanket.
And that is why I know now, that people are in our lives at specific times for specific reasons. Some stay longer than others, some even stay forever. But each one gently and sometimes, not so gently, weaves their thread, adding to what makes us who we are today.
Jenny is one of my threads. It's strange, but somehow I know, that without her, something would be missing.
Years later, I could not tell you the content of those conversations we had. But I have never forgotten that moment in time...
when I first came to know a deeper part of me.
All because of a tiny thread