There are people you meet in life who take a piece of your heart with them when they leave. When I was in high school I met a girl from France who one day came up to me and asked for a sip of my coffee. Her request came with a sweet accent and a huge smile. How could I deny her? We became instant friends.
It was here in our friendship that I heard for the first time someone laugh in French. No it didn’t sound different, and I realized that laughter as well as sadness and the mired of other emotions were the same despite our language barrier.
I took her to my house one day and she sat on the floor with my dog and cooed to her in French. I watched as the dog responded to her, placing her head in her lap and wagging her tail. I remarked that the dog didn’t know French but still responded to her, my mother laughed and said, “Do you think the dog knows English?” No, I suppose she doesn’t.
Yesterday we wandered the Metropolitan Museum of Art sharing a few short hours together, it had been 13 years since we last met. Time stood still though in our friendship. I have a comfort level with her that I suspect has transcended lifetimes.
It led me to wonder, as I listened to the various languages floating through the different galleries, there are 6 billion people on this planet, if we all treated each other as old friends do what a wonderful world this would be.