“A relationship is reborn whenever you see someone as they are right now and don’t hold them to who they were” – Marianne Williamson, Everyday Grace
Last night I had the good fortune to re-connect with an old friend. We had not seen each other in at least twenty-five years. The weather was finally cooperating here in NorCal, the warm early summer night was a great setting for an early dinner alfresco at a cafe in Campbell. A slight breeze and a setting sun, along with a patient waiter set the perfect pace for our reunion.
I arrived a bit early, a bit excited to catch up, and a bit nervous that we would have nothing really to talk about but the past. Would I have anything of interest to say? What if they were boring? Even worse, what if I was? We greeted each other with the familiar embrace of shared pasts, a hug that stated, its great to see you, it has been too long.
The waiter had to come back two or three times before he got our order. I had to be a “Sally” and order my drink the way I like it. I really didn’t want to blow up like a puffer fish, allergic reactions blow. But then we had a discussion with the waiter about goat cheese and I felt much better. Did you know that Bulgarian goat cheese is more mild than Greek? All I know is that the eggplant appetizer was as delicious as always and the baklava was to die for.
The waiter even read my coffee grounds for me – reminding me to jump out of the truck before it hurtles off the cliff (basically stay in the present) and that I have a decision ahead of me that will test my ethics/morality -( BTW, I really shouldn’t take the easy way out on that one). Makes me wonder…
But I digress.
There is no need for a word by word description of our conversation. We dabbled in the past, reveled in the present and projected into the future. It felt amazing to talk with someone who knew you when, but didn’t bring the “when” into the “now”. Thus when I read the quote by Williamson this morning, I felt as if a tuning rod had be struck in my soul.
Relationships are about the present. You can either say “Duh” or “Amen” – depending on who you are/ or where you are with your psyche. When I say relationships, I mean all of ’em, with your family, your life partner, your friends, but mostly with yourself. The “be here, be now” lesson has been written on the chalkboard of my soul for quite some time — yet my brain just understood it for the first time this morning. For me, last night illustrated with bright colors the wonders of being in the present.
What did I enjoy most about last night? The food? the weather? the conversation? What was there not to take delight in? But what stood out to me the most was how the conversation and our relationship moved forward into the present as the night progressed. Yes, we re-capped our lost years for each other, shared remembrances and filled in a few memory lapses for each other. But all in all, last night was about last night. Being present to experience the joy of being connected to others. Geesh, I think I am finally paying attention to the lessons of my soul.