It's been a weekend of hellos. They've come from my heart and were all delivered with the warmest of smiles.
I've been at an educational workshop these last couple of days and while I really enjoyed the academic program, one of the other highlights has been the chance to catch up with the many wonderful people I've worked and studied with since moving to Sydney.
We talked a lot about the good old days and those that were just plain crazy.
We talked about what we were all up to at the moment. There was chatter about the children, shared parenting advice, interruptions to take calls from the coal face back home... There was the often repeated refrain about how great it was that weekends like this brought us all together but we were also all collectively buggered if we knew where to actually go at the end of the day's program for a nice meal and a few drinks. Where do the youth and child free go on weekends and after dark in Sydney these days? It's been so long....
Quite a few of my friends have taken challenging roles in rural areas where they've been instrumental in setting up new services. With their new visions and ideas has also come the challenges of both persuading their new local area to embrace the change as well as to somehow source funding to make it all happen. It was inspiring to hear about their achievements. But it was also humbling. Their working conditions and work load really put into perspective the grumbles I have when things bet a bit busy and I feel that I'm being spread a little too thinly.
It was also pretty special to see much younger friends progressing so well through their training years and that it wouldn't be too long before I'd be catching up with them as colleagues. It's a thought that strangely never makes me feel old yet looking in the mirror under bad lighting often does.
Yet talking it over with a friend eases the fear and sense of isolation. With the words of a friend comes light to brighten a path you previously feared for its dark uncertainty of worst possible outcomes.
Hellos to friends are powerful, special things that help keep those people always in your heart and mind.