Three weeks of silence.
Three weeks of friendship.
A few summers ago, I experienced friendships in a way I never imagined possible.
At the beginning of the three weeks, friendship was the last thing on our minds. My friends and I were nervous. We hoped for greatness, but prepared for disaster.
What resulted after three weeks were friendships that saw past differences and flourished despite barriers.
But in between the beginning and the end of the three weeks – that’s where the story lies.
Barriers abounded for my friends and I. Our “jobs” depended on our ability to break down walls and think outside the box of our comfortable worlds.
And no wall seemed higher to climb than the wall we faced for three weeks.
Told that a group of teens, kids, and college students were arriving, we were thrilled at the chance to hang out with more people our age.
And our minds geared into overdrive as we planned out “best-practices” for communicating.
You see, my world is loud. Full of background noises and everyday chatter.
And the world of the kids, teens, and college students arriving is quiet. Full of pauses and silence.
And when those worlds collided, it caused some tension.
Nothing extreme. No reality-TV drama by any means.
Just an uncertainty. A hesitation.
But we all tried. We all worked. We all cared.
And that is what saw us through three weeks.
Instead of shutting down and walking away, we pushed and pulled on the wall before us. On both sides of the brick and mortar, we chipped and hammered.
Relying on our limited resources, what we learned in high school, and one another, we were able to overcome a road block that would have sent most people running for the hills.
We put our heads together and sat down right away to break the ice. That first night, filled with introductions and confusion, games and bonfires, was just a taste of what was to come.
Over the three weeks, we taught one another how to survive. We let one another into our worlds.
And we laughed.
Aloud. And. Silently.
Didn’t matter how we laughed. Just that we laughed.
And after those three weeks, we were closer than where we started. Closer than we expected. Closer because we saw the gap between us and we worked together to conquer it.
We learned from one another. We formed friendships with one another.
And before we knew it, three weeks were over and done.
Our time ended. Three weeks of a friendship utopia none of us thought would be possible, came to a close. We all put a smile on our faces, waved and hugged goodbye.
Our smiles, waves, and hugs were the universal that connected our worlds of ruckus and tranquility.
And let’s not forget the outstretched hands we extended in order to pull one another over the wall into friendships of laughter and love.
And we applauded the silence that grew our unlikely friendships.