When I first started practicing law, I joined a group of recovering lawyers. We met once a week and discussed recovery and law. We saw each other through trying times. We mentored each other, we helped each other when we faltered and we laughed...a lot. Mostly at ourselves but occasionally at others. It was a foundational part of my life. Those people, changed me.
And while I have not remained in constant contact, the threads of friendship have been woven into the years. A delicate, sinewy fiber that has stood the test of time.
On my recent trip back East, I was gifted with a brief, but loving encounter with a man that I have known for almost 28 years. It was so good to see him. As I listened to him talk, I was awash again with the pleasant feelings of admiration for the work he has done, the life he has survived and overcome and the humor with which he has maintained through it all.
Our encounter brief but so full of friendship and love. I have been buoyed by the contact all week.
And apparently the feeling was mutual. Last evening, the night before I began my trek home, I received a package from him. He sent a lovely note and a book to both my friend and I. She has kept in contact with him over the years and it was because of her that I was reacquainted. The book small but mighty and the note followed in similar fashion. Offering up what is most valuable and least valued in our world today: love. Love free from possession or obligation or demand. Simple for fun and for free love.
It is such a weird thing to be back in Maryland where I started my legal career. To be full circle in so many ways. But to have so much life have happened to me and for me. I am a mother now, and have been a wife. I am older and sometimes actually wiser. It is so nice to revisit my roots, and find the tap root of my life still intact and thriving. And to have occasion to spend time, even brief amounts of time, with those who were so instrumental in growing me into this version of myself.
I can’t wait to write him back and return the love. And thank him for the book. But mostly thank him for always believing in me, in us. For being a beacon for decades. For being a good man that has always walked the path. And as the path continues to get more narrow...he plods carefully forward, never, ever straying from the path towards more fully developing a truly loving heart.