There was a time when I lived in Seattle, Washington. There I met a woman who would become my closest and nearest friend way out there in the Pacific Northwest. We met at "the office" and for our mid-morning coffee breaks we would head over to this little coffee shop where we would order this thing called a latte. We would order a single, short, 2% latte. When I headed back East for Christmas I remember bringing back the same gift for all of my relatives: coffee made by this company called Starbucks. No one had ever heard of it.
I write about this friend today because we have recently reconnected, as they say. I moved to the East Coast, she moved to Italy to become an au pair. We lost touch as people do. Perhaps it was my fault - perhaps it was no ones.
I began thinking about her more and more after I started writing for Gift of Green. I think it was because, other than my parents, she was the first person I'd ever met who really dug the natural world What did I learn from her? Nothing actually. What do I mean by that? I didn't learn how to do all of the things that she did: hiking in the midst of bears, bird-banding, downhill skiing, recognizing bird calls, camping, owning gators. But what I did learn from her is that these things exist. Weird, huh? That you might not even realize that these things are in the realm of possibilities? It's like when we say the scary thing about being a new nurse is not not knowing, but not even knowing that you don't know.
The world of blogging has opened up a lot of these windows into worlds I've known nothing about. There are so many talented women writers who are just so interesting you want to have them all over for coffee. And there is so much to learn.
But getting back to my friend from Seattle. Of course over five years now since we first lost touch I did what any reasonable, slightly obsessive person would do: I googled her. Thankfully her name popped up. No longer in Seattle, but oh, I hit gold: her email address. I cautiously wrote her a note and sent it out into the ethernet. And waited. Her reply came the same day and was basically, "How the hell did you track me down? So where were we?"
My friend once made me a tape (remember those days?) that included that Neil Young song that goes "Comes a time when you're drifting, comes a time when you settle down." I drifted. I've settled down. But in many ways this green adventure, while mostly via armchair, has let me drift in a whole new way. A nice way.
Thank you, AB, for helping me know what I didn't know about the gift of green.