It seems like just about every day, I send a text that starts with those four words.
To Annette: “Wish we were neighbors so you could tell me if I should keep these shoes.”
Earlier this week to Laura: “Wish we were neighbors so you could come over for coffee to discuss last night’s episode of Girls.”
This morning to my dear college friends Kirsten & Monica: “Wish we were neighbors so you could talk me down from my mounting book-release-related crazy.”
Last week to Emily in Kalamazoo: “Wish we were neighbors so we could take a dance class together. Wouldn’t that be fun?”
Sometimes I find myself thinking about the people I love, all spread out all over the country, and I think: why are we so far apart? Would it be insane to move houses or cities or states because of friendship? Doesn’t it sort of make sense?
People move for jobs, for love, to be near their parents or in a city they like. People move to be in good school systems for their kids or according to God’s call to a church or ministry. People move for houses they fall in love with and shorter commutes. Do people move for friendship? Have you? Would you?
This is what I want, in my secret crazy heart: I want to pick a neighborhood and put out the call: let’s do this! Let’s stop texting and seeing each other twice a year, if that. Let’s pick a neighborhood, and let’s move there and raise our kids together and have dinner together twice a week and go running together and put our kids on the same bus in the morning.
What do you think about this? Is it a silly dream?
You know how I feel about friendship, that I believe, really and truly, that friendship is God’s best evidence of himself here on earth. You know I believe that friendships shape us, heal us, transform us. You know I think they’re hard, and worth putting in the time and awkwardness and vulnerability that real friendships require.
This is my question these days: when you have friendships that are so dear to you, when you feel so seen and loved and connected and thankful for what these amazing people bring you, why wouldn’t we change our lives, or at the very least, our location for them?
What do you think?