So, Saturday we hiked to Stewart Falls w/the kiddos. Ok, Mikkie rode on my shoulders most of the way, and walked maybe 1/20th of the time (I had to teach her several times that my eyeballs were not a good place for her to cling to for support… nor my mouth, my throat, my ears…. where’s a baby girl to hold on to?).
Anyways… the strangest of coincidences. Of the 20 odd people we must’ve passed on the trail that Saturday Evening, one face struck a vein of familiarity, and the name “Gwen” came to mind. Risking an awkward moment of “oh, I’m sorry, I mistook you for someone I knew”, I turned around and said her name aloud, waiting to see if she would respond. To my surprise, she stopped, turned around, and not only did it turn out to be her, she was there with both Brandon, and Jill (two other very prominent people in my childhood whom I hadn’t seen nor talked to for at least 5 years)! We talked for a bit, had a brief round of catching up, and both commented on the impossible odds that were beaten for us to both be on that trail, crossing at the same time, on that day. And how funny it is was that I, Jill and Brandon passed us by without noticing (Jill and I were best of friends between the ages of 2 and 10, a friendship that unfortunately dwindled to the status of “acquaintances” when I moved to another neighborhood).
This isn’t all: earlier that day I was helping my friend Ronny move into his new house. I became acquainted with another fellow helper, whose first name I’d only asked: Jake. After some good conversation, the subject of where we lived came up, to which he said South Jordan, and I said Saratoga Springs. He said “Saratoga Springs, I have a brother who lives in Saratoga Springs”. “Oh really?” I asked, “which part”. He couldn’t remember the name, so I asked how far out. “Way out there… like passed Jacob’s Ranch” he replied (my memory faintly recalls the word “boonies” used to describe the distance). I started naming the neighborhoods as I could remember them (Saratoga Springs is organized like that), and when I named ours, he said “yeah, that’s it.” I felt certain that it must be someone I knew, so I asked what his brothers name was, and it turned out to be my next door neighbor! And to comment on how further these seemingly impossible odds were aligned, in that very moment, after we made this connection, Mark called his brother Jake on his cell phone. Wanting to capitalize on this moment, I asked Jake if he’d let me answer it. He agreed, and Mark was pretty confused as to why his neighbor was answering his brother’s phone. It turns out that Ronny’s wife’s family and my neighbor Mark’s family were friends while growing up in California.
I’m still somewhat amazed at how all of that came together yesterday, and not just one coincidence, but two, occurred. I wonder how often we pass down the same road as a childhood friend, or pass each-other in a crowded mall, without giving notice to the occasion.
This isn’t particularly edifying in anyway, but I suppose it could serve to remind one to toss a spark to kindle an old friendship, and take a moment to notice and admire the little things.
Anyways…. as you were.