I find it truly amazing sometimes what you learn by going back to the places that you have been. The past few days I spent in Ithaca, visiting whoever was here, friends, professors, etc. It was a great thing to do. I came down with Steve, who is one of the best friends that I have ever had. He is the kind of friend who I can wreak havoc with, and then turn around and be totally serious. We are the kind of friends where one of us could call on the other for anything, and know that they would be there. I knew this when we left school, but this trip reinforced that a great deal.
One of the best things about this trip was discovering the friends that I had, but really didn't know that I had. Maybe that makes sense to some people, and I am sure that it will hopefully make more sense soon. We drove into Ithaca on Monday night, dumped our stuff at the hotel, grabbed a bite to eat, and then headed off to Candor to help out our friend Gale with her children's summer theatre show, "Snoopy." Turned out that another friend of ours, Meryl, was stage managing the show. It also turned out that the show needed a lot of help. Steve and I worked till something like 2 AM to get things working, Gale was very thrilled.
The next day we continued our visiting of people and headed back out to Candor in the evening to make sure the rehearsal went ok. Once we were through we took Meryl out for drinks and dessert. As it were, I suppose I was always friends with Meryl, though I don't know if I ever would have done that before, and I certainly know that I never did. But we had a greatly strengthened bond I think over the evening, and we were invited for brunch the next morning too.
I think the most inspiring experience though was last night. The three of us met up at the hotel, and were completely indecisive in what to do, it was late, movies were out of the question, and we didn't have any great Ideas. Then Steve suggested that we head out to Taughannock falls. So we did, hoped in the car, put the top down and went. It was a beautiful night, and we walked the 3/4 mile up to the falls in the moonlight, mostly in silence, and mostly in reverie I think. I hadn't been out there in a ear, that is for sure, lots of memories. We sat under the falls, Meryl and I has some quiet conversation, Steve seemed to be lost in thought.
Walking back all I could do was think about how the things that a year ago seemed trivial, or insubstantial could forge new connections. Friends are such an interesting thing. But I know that there are people that I can count on if I need them. People I may not have seemed to have a lot to do with in the past, but care. It is a wonderful thing, and it is really hard to put into words.
Take only memories and leave only footprints. We all leave a mark on the people we touch, and we carry the memories too. They are strong bonds which time can strengthen or break. So strange, so powerful, and wonderful.