I’ve always believed the world is much smaller than we realize.
I remember being at the Uffizi Museum and hearing someone say my name. I turned around to stand face-to-face with a fellow “Cherub.” While that might sound appropriate given how many of the rotund angels one sees in Italian museums, this was actually a journalism Cherub. From a program at Northwestern University that we had attended together while in high school 4 years earlier. We lived 1000 miles away from each other in the States only to run into each other in the middle of Florence, Italy.
Eight years later, I took a spontaneous detour up the steps of l’Opéra in Paris, only to be literally tackled. Startled, I looked up to find a young man whom I did not immediately recognize, which made sense as I had last seen him when he was 11 years old. His family had been kind enough to invite a friend and I over for several meals during our studies in Caen, France. Turns out he had become a flight attendant, had a 7-hour-layover in Paris, and had also spontaneously decided to rest on the steps of l’Opéra.
Back then, there were no cell phones, no internet…no easy way to quickly stay in touch with people no matter the miles. Today, things are different. Today, email, Skype and Facebook keep us easily connected.
And for that, I am grateful.
Grateful to be spending 10 days with my “flatmate” from Montpellier, France. That after not seeing each other for 23 years, we were able to Skype for 2 hours, talking non-stop and laughing as if time had stood still. To learn that one of her daughters is 2 weeks younger than Missa B. and that the kids are going to spend a day together at school.
Grateful for another dear friend from that time in Montpellier who now lives in Basel, Switzerland. To have also had several hours of Skype calls during which I “met” her family, even if they looked like bad versions of Minecraft characters due to the connection. And to hear her say, “Absolutely do not waste money on a hotel; you’re staying with us,” in her authoritative British tone that, to an American, demands compliance (in this case quite willingly).
Grateful for a wonderful surprise yesterday after seeing on Facebook that my college roommate’s husband and son will be in London at the same time as us. That after several messages back and forth, she decided to join them. We both live in the States, but time and distance get in the way, so we’ll be seeing each other for the first time in over 20 years, reuniting on another continent. And that makes my heart happy.
Grateful that this technology which often separates people is helping bring my family and me face-to-face with friends who hold a very special place in my heart.
Grateful that it really is a small world after all.