"Where are you going for spring break?" I ask a beloved friend.
"Moab, or Zions, depends on where my sister wants to go. What about you?"
"I've only been to California once. We went to pick up some sheep."
The immensity of diversity in her response takes a few seconds to sink in. Picking up sheep. Not a part of my vernacular nor my experience.
"I've never had the privilege of uttering such a sentence," I say to my friend.
"Well now, I've never thought of it quite that way."
Of course she hasn't. Nor would I ever think of going to California to pick up some sheep.
I would love this woman no matter what, but that her degrees are in Latin and Dairy Science add to our conversations and our differences.
I have another friend I treasure. She is loud; she is the life of the party; she is funny. We tend to disagree frequently--but she always hears me out, always listens to my logic and I to hers. I once took the cutest photo of her after she slept on damp hair. It was adorable. She thought differently.
When I showed the photo to mutual friends, she said, "True friends don't show photos like that."
I had only shown the image because she looked adorable. But, her words stayed with me. A day later, I put the photo in an envelope and sent it to her house. On the return address I wrote: From a true friend.
For my birthday one year, she gave me a card with a naked man in the company of a dressed man in a business suit. The caption read, When we think alike, no one is thinking.
Which I applaud, but I've also been a participant when everyone is thinking alike and it was bliss. Synergy, harmony, love, were all present. Yet, could I continually thrive in that environment? No.
We need both. We need the elasticity and tension in a rubber band--without both, the band is useless. We need the challenge to our ideas to hatch more. We need roadblocks to hurdle, locks to pick to find treasure, untraveled roads that lead to secret waterfalls.
We need friends who've only been to California to pick up sheep.