I often wonder about the thing called “friendship”. How long do you have to know a person before you call him or her a friend? I know it is not the length you have met the person. When I rented a room in Alaska for a month, I shared the kitchen and the living room with another man. For a whole month, our conversation never passed “how are you doing today”. Yet, there were moments I simply stumbled upon, randomly, unexpectedly, but those brief encounters had lasting impact on me. Is the depth of a friendship measured by the time we spend in each other’s company? Or is it measured by how long into the future we can look back at the moment, and still remember it so clearly, still feel the warmth of that brief encounter, still appreciate the impact it had on us? If it is the later, I can add quite a few on my friend list.
If you read my previous post (#205), you know I’ve just forged such a friendship with Dustin and Loan. Although I felt I was going to miss two good friends by the time they left, I didn’t think I would ever see them again, given the distance between us. I was pleasantly surprised that after touring Grand Canyon and Flagstaff, Dustin decided to come back to Sedona! The two more days he spent here was a lot of fun! We hiked, joined drum circle with other hikers, went though several galleries, cook meals, talked about photography, music, books…and shared our dreams. I really don’t know whether we will ever meet again in this life, but I am certainly very grateful for such friendship, no matter whether it will last or not. No doubt this brief moment will stay in my memory for a long time. And I am sure, if we do meet again, we will like old friends, for “those truly linked don’t need correspondence. When they meet again after many years apart, their friendship is as true as ever” (Deng Ming-Dao).
It is such heartwarming moments that sustained and enriched solo travel. Looking forward to more of such amazing encounters of life! 🙂