A few days ago, one of my dear mentors came to town. It has been three years since she was last in Vancouver, and now was the perfect time to meet again in-person. Although we stay in touch by email, it is sporadic at best – our lives are both so busy with personal and professional activities that we have gradually reduced our contact to ‘as needed.’ Our day together was the reboot we both needed to reconnect!
Typically, she passes through Vancouver on her way to visit family nearby. On this day, I served as shuttle between locations. Although we could have shuffled her to her final destination quickly and directly, this day offered time to catch her breath, and for us to catch our friendship.
Picking her up at the airport was an amazing treat. To see her smile at seeing a familiar loving face after such a long flight was my honour. Our hug immediately ignited a day of laughter…not to mention tons of talking. Boy, can we both talk!! It was seriously funny to have us taking turns, so fluidly passing the baton of talking and listening. It was like long lost friends reunited, and maybe that is what it was – years of not saying what we truly wanted to share all bubbling to the surface. Certainly email serves our relationship to a point, but we went well beyond in-person. Maybe it is seeing each others faces, watching our laugh lines dance, hearing the faint tickle in our voices right before the laughter rises, and knowing a touch or hug is mere inches away…?
Whatever the spark, we let go of the past few years in one swoop. We shared our heart breaks. We shared our disappointments. We shared our joys. We shared our exciting projects. We shared our secrets plans. We shared on a level of trust that does not come with keys on a computer.
In the following days, this dynamic has played on my mind: why does it take an occasional in-person meeting to understand the depth of connection possible with people we know and care about? Although the connection continually exists, why do we let it dwindle? Why do we let the busy-ness of life get between the connections that truly matter to us? Why do we turn friendship on and off, as if a light dimmer switch? Why does it take a spark to realize the treasure of our mentors? Once we experience the spark, what does it take to keep the connection alive?
To my dear mentor, thank you for your visit, your friendship, your laughter and your trust in sharing. May your visit inspire us both to keep our connection alive!