Monday, July 12, 2010


“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used
to think. It's splendid to find out there are
so many of them in the world.”
~ L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)

My 20-year high school reunion was this past weekend. I didn't go. Not that I have anything against high school reunions, mind you. Well, not hugely at any rate. I did go to my 10-year high school reunion and it was an overall fun and nice experience as I caught up with various people who I had not seen much of since June 1990. And as is customary at such events, contact information was exchanged along with decisions to do a better job of keeping in touch. Only thing is, another ten years can pass and one finds out there has been no greater degree of contact established, never mind maintained, with the people one grew up with.

So it seems only fitting for thoughts of kinship and community and commonality to have been swirling around in my mind for the last number of weeks. Who are my friends? Why are we friends? What things to we share in common? What are our differences and why does the relationship sometimes seem to work in spite of them?

You see, in school I was very much the shy, quiet, studious type. And even as I tried in my own ways to break out of that mould, to be my own person, it was the label that stuck with me. To be honest, it irritated me. (It was just a bit, mind you, as I had no moment of standing up during a school assembly to proclaim such things to my peers (too embarrassing!).) But I believe that desire to not be seen as I was led, in part, to my decision to not attend the recent school reunion. That and the fact my old friends and I didn't keep in touch all that much after our 10th reunion. I'm not bitter about it . . . it's how things worked out. And then there are times when, like my mother, I can be terribly unsentimental about things such as reunions.

But rather than dwell on things I cannot change, I am thankful to have found some places where I do fit, to know people who have been allowed to see me with all my quirks and who still want to hang out with me. There is my wonderful husband, who has helped me be less shy and quiet; my sisters, who I count among my closest friends, who knew me as I was and know me as I am; my church family, many who have done so much to help me get to where I am now. There are some lovely, big-hearted people I have yet to all meet in person, but who I count among my friends; and there are even people I don't really know at all but who share similar outlooks and bents with me in regards to faith, love, and laughter, and in looking at the world in general.

And as I continue to grow and change (it really is a life-long process, isn't it?), my hope is I will continue to find kindred spirits. They really aren't as scarce as one would sometimes think. You just have to get out there and look.

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