Faith and I met when Thomas was 1. We last saw each other not long after he turned 2. He turns 10 in less than a month. So to say it had been awhile is an understatement.
I’m not sure what happened to cause us to drift. We weren’t extremely close to begin with. We hadn’t known each other long enough to reach extremely close. She is a wonderful person and we got along well, the time just hadn’t been put into it.
She lived not too far out, but not down the street. We both had kids. My mental health was going down the tubes. I feel like there was something more as well, but I don’t recall. It wasn’t a big blow-out fight or anything dramatic between us. Life just prevented us from hanging out and so we kind of drifted.
But we did keep in touch over various social media. So I knew the major events of her life, and she knew mine, even if the fine details weren’t being discussed.
When Lisa moved and I questioned how I was going to find myself in a kayak again, Faith spoke up with there being local places that kayaks could be rented, she just didn’t know where and she didn’t have the guts to do it.
At least not alone.
Faced with all of my social life leaving the state, and hearing an offer of an old acquaintance wanting to give things a go, I didn’t miss the opportunity.
I sought Lisa’s advice on where to go, I planned well in advance with Faith when we could do this.
And yesterday I found myself in 1 of 2 rented kayaks, Faith in the other, and off we went on adventure. An adventure we’ll never forget. The trip we bought, which is self guided with instruction on where to get in and what to look for to get out, was promised to be 1-2 hours. We took 3, with an hour of it sitting in our boats, anchored to the side of the river, just catching up on 8 years of history away from one another. It was like we were never apart. It was easy. For all my social anxiety and awkwardness, it was so easy.
We got stuck, we found ourselves going through fast water spots backwards with little control of our boats. We laughed. We cried out in half terror, half amusement. I found myself sitting in the middle of a river when we were too stuck to move without someone getting out. I pulled her through it, working hard to not lose my boat in the process, and at one point just sat in the water up to my waist, to catch my breath. I’ll tell you though, my hip was sore from sitting so cramped for so long, and that water was instant relief.
We came out soaked head to toe and thrilled with the experience. We were a sight. We elicited laughs from fellow boatmen, who were better at it than we. But we made it to the end, proud, soar, and not the ones lamenting the loss of keys and socks to the river.
And we came out knowing that while we can’t get together weekly, she lives an hour or so away, gas isn’t cheap and time isn’t limitless, we will make at least once a month happen. She works closer to me than she lives, so we’ll do the occasional dinner. Her son is a couple of years older than Thomas, we’ll get the kids together somewhere roughly half way between our homes. She and I will kayak or canoe again at the end of the season.
I’m not without hope.
I have Faith.