There are those friends you can count on one hand in your lifetime, who you can talk to about anything, laugh with, cry with, dream, hope, and brainstorm with, commiserate with, turn to and trust with every ounce of your being. Those who, in a heartbeat, you would jump in your car, load up the podcasts, and drive 330 miles nonstop to spend a weekend with.
And there is the one friend you’ve known since your late teens, since the days of college apartment living in Boulder, eating cookie dough out of a plastic tub, scraping by with baked potatoes for dinner or sneaking through the soup-and-salad joint to score a 2-for-1, wearing socks (they may have been red) with Duegi sandals to the bar on The Hill because we thrived on laughing at ourselves and each other, late-night slalom-style Rollerblading down the winding levels of the campus parking garage, seeing how many grapes we could fit in our mouth for those selfies taken with a 35mm film camera, loading up our books in our fluorescently-trendy backpacks to drive five hours to Moab — only to hike a mile and a half at sunrise up to Delicate Arch to study for finals. Those were the days… yet I’m grateful that we remain equally as young at heart, that we still laugh at ourselves and each other, that we still eat cookie dough and wear baseball caps more often than not.
The days, the years, the decades tick by like a rolling snowball, gathering more around itself and gaining momentum along the way. We appreciate our earned wisdom and reflect on the if-we-had-only-known-thens. We find snort-laugh-out-loud humor in the things that used to prompt utter embarrassment. We know inherently to pack layers, puffy jackets, vests, multiple hats, and ibuprofen to support our impending adventures. No matter the distance nor time between us, we pick up where we left off — as though it was yesterday — as if we were sharing a Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza at The Sink (with honey for the crust of course).
Cue the last full moon of October, the weekend we stepped into November 2020. Over the years, the fall season has more often than not been the impetus for a bestest- buddy-forever (BBF) visit. Whether in Colorado, or California for a short stint, or Idaho, we’ve made the trip one way or the other. But why would we expect the norm in this year of “Nope — that’s not happening,” “TBD,” or “we’ll see.”
“Let’s meet in the middle,” I suggested. 372 miles northwest of Eagle, Colorado. 330 miles southeast of Hailey, Idaho. It seemed perfectly perfect for our solar-powered selves to meet at SUNdance Mountain Resort — under perfectly brilliant skies no less.
It’s astonishing what disconnecting from the day-to-day to connect with someone special can do for your psyche. What a mere 45 hours with your best friend and 12 hours with you and yourself on the road can do to feed your sense of self inside and out. What exploring and adventure coupled with uncensored conversation — and not a care in the world but making it to your CBD oil sports massage after a 10-mile hike — can do for a feeling of balance. What taking time for yourself to listen, contemplate, reflect, share, ideate, dream, hope, laugh, cry — can do to even one’s keel — to recalibrate a feeling of balance to carry forward.
The solo six-hour drive home provided the opportunity to shed a few tears, to laugh a few laughs, to feel the smile cramps set in, to consider what’s ahead, to ponder uncertainties yet have gratitude for all I have, to visualize what I’m hopeful for and to set my heart on what’s possible. Perhaps what my best friend said to me on our last hike down from the waterfall — as tears of happiness, confusion, hope, and yearning rolled down my cheek — “You aren’t meant to do the little things — it’s not in your DNA.”
The significance of connecting with your best friend. Simply priceless.
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