When I first moved to this small New England town over ten years ago, I had two small children and had left a community of very dear friends. I had also left the work force and was adjusting to working part-time. So, I was a bit over eager to forge new connections and make this suburban thing work.
My first two tries failed miserably. I met a woman at the local grocery store who told me about a book reading for toddlers. I thought she was inviting me to go and so when I showed up and saw her, I waved like she was a long lost relative returning from sea. She sensed stalker and ignored me. Painful but informative.
Next up, I meet a mom at the local library and we realized our kids were the same age. I invited her over for coffee. Things went well until I showed her my recently refinished hardwood floors and explained my husband felt like we could not use water on them. "Does that mean you are not going to clean them?" she said incredulously. "Well, not with water".
In point of fact, we do clean our floors with water but we had to figure that out....new friend assessed that I was a non-cleaning lunatic (not all that far from the truth) and quickly left.
I eventually made friends here. I joined a wonderful organization that gave many of us an outlet for energy that we were used to expending at work. We met for play dates and ran social events for our children with over-zealous results. We came together and kept each other from aching loneliness and terror when those little ones were sick or scared.
Now, many of us are back at work and some of us have drifted apart. I think sometimes you walk together for awhile and then your paths diverge. I have friends out west whom I rarely see but will love always....we walk the same path but in different places. Philosophers muse on love and friendships but I think it boils down to this: with whom are you your authentic self? Not mom or artist or climber or spiritual seeker but just you. Or maybe a true friend allows you to flow from self to self.
Heady stuff brought on by the loss of a friendship. As I was thinking about that, I remembered those early attempts to forge connections. No energy spent in trying to connect with others is wasted..... even if it doesn't take or fails down the line. First noble truth.....life is impermanent and ultimately death will separate us all. Enjoy the moment.
---philosophical musings brought to you by New England winters:)