Saturday, November 21, 2009

those who I know

the other day I realized that I know quite a few people.
and quite a few of those people I know are taking power camp this year.
quite a few more aren't, but I've been (pleasantly) surprised to see so many faces I know.
when I did this 3 years ago, I knew no one except a slight acquaintance who signed up, came half the time for the first half of the program, and then gradually disappeared.
of course many of the people I now know are those I met during that first year. but an interesting number aren't: they are people I know from other phases of my life, or that I have met through fellow cyclists.

my circle of acquaintances is widening. stretching. expanding . . . I visualize this elastic and liquid boundary that easily absorbs others of its same makeup. like a small puddle of water that moves toward a droplet of water then slurp! the droplet becomes one with the puddle, joining and mixing in to create a new body of water.
there was a time in my life where I didn't want any more friends. I felt I had enough: I was actually overwhelmed by how many friends and acquaintances were circulating through and around my life. we were constantly socializing, having people over, going places with others, talking, scheduling, gathering . . . I was filled, overflowing, unable to expand any further to accept anyone else.

I still have limits as to how many others I want or need to be in my inner circle, but I find that my outer circle can hold more than it has been able to, and it holds them differently than it used to. they are held more gently, viewed with more wonder and appreciation. perhaps this is aging. perhaps those others are becoming more important as kids grow and get closer to leaving home; perhaps they are viewed with more respect for the myriad and varied experiences they've all survived.
what I do know is that I value them all. the man whose name I used to hear on the Nordstrom paging system 25 years ago, the woman I've always admired since we worked across the aisle from each other those same 25 years ago, the woman I socialized with at various parties but never knew well, the woman who married my good high school friend.
the circle is widening yet drawing nearer, and its nebulous form is ever-shifting, gracefully allowing for ebbing and flowing and acceptance of those from the past as well as those from the future.

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