I like Facebook’s “On this day” feature. I find little surprises and reminders when I check it. Today’s, for instance, reminded me that four years ago I was at R’s college graduation ceremony. I didn’t talk to the rest of you; that was the condition I agreed to when the invitation was extended. I remember keeping my distance after the ceremony, yet within view. When T, S, & L were done congratulating R and G, I watched you walk away in the opposite direction. I waited where I was for R to approach; it seemed like what I was supposed to do. I don’t remember that we said anything to each other right away. But I will always remember the way I felt when she hugged me. She was so happy! And I was so proud and happy for her. It was as if everything was right between us in that moment; we were celebrating a very big achievement after a long journey and a lot of work. We were two people who had shared a lot of past experiences and who, for a miraculous moment, were totally present to the abundant joy in this one. No hurts, no expectations, no awkwardness. We met each other beyond all of that somehow. It felt like home.
I do not think for one moment that all the hurt feelings and misunderstandings can be swept away and replaced by instantaneous reconciliation. But our hug reminded me that certain bonds are never broken. That knowledge can help us find the means to a new way of relating to each other. It’s not necessarily easy, but it’s also not impossible if we’re willing. We can find forward.