I sit here on a chilly Santa Monica evening having just spoken with you a few hours ago. I got home tonight, checked my mail and found your wonderful letter. I read it through and lingered in the memories for a bit and decided that responding to you on this platform was both the response I needed to write and the one I wanted to send. It won't replace the pen, but hopefully the words will seem hand-delivered. I have my tea, just ate a delectable treat...I'm ready.
I believe that as we come to this January, we celebrate our 5th year of friendship. That's a bit of a milestone, I would say. Considering all of the circumstances we've experienced together and the lessons we've taught each other- I find myself in the kind of place of nostalgia. I think about the countless walks we took to the Indiana Avenue Starbucks, the number of Jimmy Johns sandwiches we consumed, the random road trips to Nashville- both Indiana and Tennessee, and the handful of concerts we attended at the Bluebird. I think back to the conversations we have had- the infamous "thunderstorm" conversation that will no doubt make its way into one of your books. There are so many stories woven into those years, Sarah. They are the stories that make me think of our friendship every time I make a cup of tea, listen to Enya, see Family Stone or smell the first taste of autumn. It's rare that a friend has such an intricate hand in forming someone. We all plant seeds in others' lives, yes, but it's not often that one actually shares the rhythm of life.
It's fascinating to think about the different paths everyone took for this "stage after college", isn't it? Paul wound up in New Jersey, A.J. is doing grad school, Ben and Andrew both married amazing women- Andrew's soon to be a Dad. Leslie's married for over 2 years and living in Indianapolis. Sadie, Austin, and Maeve are living and working in Chicago. Amy's living in Nashville tearing up the music scene. Jill's up in Noblesville. Scott lives in Portland. Darrell's married and living in Bloomington. Kelly finished her Master's and is working in Indianapolis. You married your childhood crush and are almost done with your Master's. And here I am in California, rediscovering what it means to find home where ever God leads you.
We have no promise of tomorrow, but it is also pretty shocking to think that this is honestly just the beginning. Something tells me that it may always feel that way. We'll always have the opportunity to sit down at a coffee shop, hands wrapped around the cup holding the drink of choice, us reflecting on the life that has passed, the place we are currently and the life to come.
I guess what I am trying to say, in too many words, is that I am so grateful that God loves me enough to provide me with people who have been around for a while. He has new relationships on the near horizon, of course, but those He provided to walk through those significant growing years have shaped me. If you were here, I'd raise my tea mug to you and offer some witty toast that would make us both laugh. We have seen much together, dear friend. And I look forward to the life ahead- as I am sure there is much more to see.
For the friend that you are, the trust you've both given and received, and the love that you continue to show me- I am forever grateful.
Until the next moment we share,