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Friends With History, and a Future

Sunday, July 16, 2006

When you live as far off the beaten paths--and I mean the coastal highways so many people frequent--as we do, it's a true honor to have friends come especially to visit. Let's face it: there's not much in southeast Ohio people would come halfway across the country to see. That's mostly because most people don't think about southeast Ohio at all, unless something here blows up, or some chemical plant gets awarded Dirtiest in the Nation. We know better. My dear friend Lisa Hsia, who I've known since freshman year in college, has been keeping up with us via this blog. Her son Kai, 7, has an intense interest in natural history, and he devours each blog entry, especially if it involves nests, snakes or turtles. Liam, my train fanatic, should be half so electrified by the constant barrage of natural history to which he's subjected.Photo by Lisa Hsia

It was hilarious to see Liam watch Kai, who was utterly enthralled by all he was experiencing, and wonder what the big deal was. Ho-hum, Hmmmm. Maybe this nature stuff has some merit to it after all... Photo by Lisa Hsia
Here, Kai's holding my new captive-bred hatchling box turtle, that we're raising for release on the preserve. This is about as thrilled as he gets. I have Kai in mind a lot of the time when I'm blogging!
I met Lisa in Nat. Sci 5, taught by George Wald, in the first semester of our freshman year. She and I both had hair past our tailbones, mine blonde, Lisa's raven black. We introduced ourselves, started talking, and walked back from class with our hair mingled together in one enormous braid between us, laughing our heads off. It was the start of a beautiful friendship that lasts to today.
Kai and Lisa spent a weekend with us, and it was just wonderful. We did the rounds of the bluebird trail, peeking into boxes and talking about baby birds. We visited the iron-caged box turtle nest, which I'll have to start checking for babies in the first week of August. The kids played around the pond and in the gardens. They fooled around with the hose and played with trains and watched a few videos and had a slumber party. There is something perfectly magical about watching your kids play with your friends' kids.Photo by Lisa Hsia
You think back: could you ever have imagined this scene when you were college freshmen? Nope. Life can go terribly wrong in some arenas; in others, it can turn out to be better and more beautiful than we can anticipate. Sharing those passages with friends, especially those with history, gives us new perspective, peel us off the ceiling, and give us the strength to keep going. Seeing our children play together made Lisa and me appreciate what we have even more, and realize what our greatest achievements truly are.Photo by Lisa Hsia
While the great achievements played, Lisa and I yakked and yakked. Friends with whom you have a history--who know you from when you were just a bud of a person--who have seen you through ups and downs--are rarer and more precious than opals. We can go months without talking, then pick up as if we'd just hung up from a previous conversation. We had so much ground to cover over the weekend. I'm deeply grateful to Lisa for making the trip and for being such a good, strong, brilliant, supportive and dear friend. Given time and enough fresh sugar snap peas from the garden, I'm sure we could figure out how to save the world.
Photo by Lisa Hsia.
Beautiful, beautiful boy, keeping the rain off with a dock leaf. He is even sweeter than he looks. Hodge, this one's for you!! Thank you, Lisa. XO JZ


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