Reuniting with New Friends

By Haven Lindsey  in  blog  on  08.25.2013

Have you ever met someone and gotten the feeling you already knew them? Have you ever said something like, “Wait, haven’t we already met?”.  That happened to me recently while camping in Vermont; I met Linda and Dan for the first time but it felt more like a reunion to me.

Ah…the best laid plans; looking back I smile and shake my head…what had I been thinking? I had set out for Vermont to camp out in Granddaddy’s Van* (* see previous blog) with a well-intended plan of spending time in solitude surrounded by the majestic Green Mountains, meditating, cycling and writing.  And all of those things happened except the solitude part; my first morning there, I awoke and walked in search of the bathhouse and reunited with my new friends.

Sitting side-by-side on one side of their picnic table, it was as if Linda and Dan had been expecting me to stop by. I initially met Lucy, their adorable Yorkie, and the little dog’s enthusiasm was so welcoming I figured I had to meet the folks who belonged to her.

Within a few minutes, I was sitting on ‘my’ side of the picnic table as we discussed everything and anything. We talked about camping, dogs, books, authors and everything in-between.  Missing was the initial awkwardness that can happen upon meeting for the first time; in hindsight I guess that doesn’t happen when people are reuniting. Our conversation flowed easily like they tend to do when you’ve known people a long time. I’m not sure how long we sat and talked, but eventually my full bladder reminded me of the reason I had wondered from my campsite to begin with. As I walked away I giggled thinking I had actually thought I was going to go camping and not talk to anyone.

Later that afternoon as I finished a bike ride up what felt to me like the steepest mountain in the world, I was thrilled to stumble upon an actual Street Dance in the tiny village near the campground. I immediately leaned my bike against a tree, removed my helmet and joined in the activities. Within minutes Linda and Dan arrived as if we had planned to meet. At that point I was keenly aware of just how familiar they felt to me.  Having had just finished a bike ride that somehow seemed uphill all the way, they didn’t seem concerned that I wasn’t the freshest daisy in the bunch.

We sat and ate lunch, listened to the live music and talked. Our conversation, familiar and easy, was not superficial as we watched and listened to the spectacle around us. While Linda walked Lucy, Dan and I discussed life experiences, choices, jobs and work environments. I enjoy meeting people and have always taken an interest in their lives and experiences; a bonus for me is when someone expresses a reciprocal interest in me and they did.

Our dinner that night consisted of Linda’s amazing ability to prepare an incredible meal from a camper and an open fire (although the camper ain’t too shabby) and they shared their secret to having a fire start the first time, every time. For me the hi-light of the meal was when she brought out the container of pickled eggs, something my Grand always had on our camping trips when I was a child. They were leaving the next day to head home and although I didn’t say it, I wanted them to stay one more day.

The following morning as they packed and prepared to leave, Dan gave me a list of things he had written for me to do – preparations for upcoming changes in my life and things to do to ensure my camping goes well in my ’76 camper van. Linda showed me all sorts of stack-able pots and pans and gave me another secret fire-starter. As I left on my bike that morning and headed out for another uphill all the way ride, I secretly wished they would drive by.  When I returned they were gone, their campsite empty, only memories remained.

As I write this, Linda, Dan and Lucy are on a camping trip. I’ve given them a great deal of thought. Time spent with them touched my heart on the weekend I had planned to spend in solitude. I wonder about their campsite and who they’ve met and conversations they’ve had, I wonder if they’ve finished the books they were reading and if their new awning has come in yet; because the rain had ruined theirs the night before we met. I wonder if they are eating pickled eggs.

But mostly I wonder when I’ll be fortunate enough to see them again. I know our paths will cross again and I wonder if it will be soon or will it be in a different time, a different place, a different lifetime?

I wonder if I’ll say something like, “Wait, haven’t we already met?”.

Thanks for reading,
~ Haven

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