of time, of trees

Time is finite.

I am finite.

^Things I was re-reminded of, during a dinner with an acquaintance from high school, from college. Our paths didn’t cross much when back in those places, but she’s in town now for a new job and reached out to me…just cause.

Which is a nice thing, in and of itself, but I came out of the venture feeling older and tired-er. She’s the introvert between us two, but I was the one who trudged back to my car with my people battery drained rather than recharged from our dinner together.

The caveats, they are many:

  • It didn’t help that we had had to reschedule the thing more than twice, and that I was feeling put upon but not cared for (weird, self-pitying combo, I know).
  • Also didn’t help that she was LATE, after I had already had to kill time at work and at the mall. And that I get hangry, like a child.
  • Also also that I was cold cause I never check the weather and was inappropriately dressed for the day and the overly-air conditioned mall.
  • Yes; I, too, am seeing that this list is in decreasing order of her fault and increasing order of mine. So there are two sides here, obviously. And yet.

We sat down, facing each other across the cold plastic of the food court table and chatted about some things and nothings — just details about our lives, current and past. Remembering how we had known each other, reconnecting dusty pieces of puzzles we both had moved on from, rehashing what it is we are doing here in the nova area, all just for the sake of “catching up.”

But “catching up” implies a continuity that just isn’t there for us. (For me.) Especially after all my minutes of mall-wandering and grumble-grumble waiting, I just kept feeling like there wasn’t anything to build (or build upon) there between us.

And I think, at this point in life, I’m in need of some building-up of things. Bricks upon bricks to create real, useful, and hardy things, like a house or maybe like a condo. Or like, a garden, or a porch.

A table?

[Sidenote: I’ve been a little obsessed with thinking vaguely about bricks since a little while ago.]

Don’t get me wrong; she is doing everything admirably for her circumstance — being in a new place, making new connections, wanting to spend her time well. Planting lots of new seedlings, in expectation of green shoots everywhere and seeing how things grow. I know that feeling, and I value that desire. I recognized it because that was me, too, just a little while ago — endless seeker of newer and greener things.

It’s just that, in observation of this, I recognized a little shift in my heart, in the definition of what “time well spent” means, to me.

Right now, my heart desires to turn and tend to those things in my life that are already established and firm. A desire for maturity and solidity. For continuity. Pause the new ventures, please. Not cause new ventures are bad. Just cause, otherwise, I’m afraid that all I’ll end up with are a bunch of disjointed brick patches and table legs with no tops. Nothing to sit on, nothing to rest in. Just a bunch of windblown patches of blooms, here and there — no real harvest.

Time is finite, like I said. Time that I’ve got, even more so.

But I also sit in humble recognition of the fact that it took a cold, wind-blown, inwardly cranky dinner date with someone pursuing the opposite thing from me to see, and realize, all of that.

So yay for seedlings.

And yay for real, full-grown tables.

And for all the stages of tree in between.

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