Saturday, October 15, 2005

Plane Fare

I'm heading home today, taking my sweet time getting from one place to another. And though I generally prefer to eat lightly on travel days, today I'm making an exception.

It's not that I'm flying first class and getting a spectacular meal. Rather, I've given myself the luxury of a long layover in the DC area in order to arrange an extended visit with the one and only Mitch Heat.

After not seeing each other for over two and a half years, and having two missed connections in the past year alone, we were due for a reunion. So my buddy Mitch came out to the airport to meet me and to treat me to a decent airport meal (veg wrap, chips, cookies, and a mocha) while we sat in the baggage claim area and talked and talked and talked (and laughed over and over again).

In return, I brought him a slice of his favorite pear cake -- a simple butter cake topped with halved pears and chopped pistachios -- and earned for myself another heartfelt, bone-squishing hug.

No, there's nothing particularly exciting or impressive about any of the food we shared today. (He might tell you otherwise about the cake, but I'm fairly indifferent to it.)

But sometimes -- and I know it may shock you to read this, coming from me! -- sometimes it's not really what you eat that's important. It's who you share it with. And any meal shared with Mitch Heat is an occasion for celebration.

I've been fortunate this week to break bread with three fine people I first met as students and now am honored to consider as friends. I've had the privilege of hearing some of their dreams and learning how they've grown into themselves in the past few years. And that fellowship has nourished me even more than the food we shared.

I'm heading home now. Tomorrow I may be hard-pressed to pull together a decent meal for myself (at least until I visit the grocery store).

But for now, my stomach (and my heart) is content.

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