I believe in the power of personal connections. I believe that every relationship, friendship, and encounter will remold, transform, and redirect a person’s life. I believe that whether a kind hello is exchanged or a deep conversation is shared between two people, the power of union should never be underestimated. While there have been several relationships in my life that have redirected my journey, it was not until a summer spent at camp that I understood the power of these connections.
It was the middle of June and the hot rays from the sun slipped through the thick leaves that blanketed the camp. Upon my arrival at camp I began striking up conversations with some of the other counselors that I would be spending my summer with. As I talked to each individual, I became excited about the friendships that were going take root as the summer progressed. Then, as I sat with my fellow peers under a well aged oak tree it happened. His arm rested on my shoulder and in sarcastic yet playful tone he said “Who the hell are you?” Slightly terrified by this blunt man who had no problem entering my personal bubble, I slowly turned my head 180 degrees to respond to his crude question.
Then it happened, our eyes locked together. It was as if a magnetic force was keeping them from separating. While I tired to respond to his frank question I found it difficult to speak. (Now understand, I am not the type of person who has a frequent loss of words. When psychologists say that women dominate in the language department, it is people like me that they base their studies upon.) To continue on, never had I felt a person connect to my heart, body, and mind through a simple touch and gaze such as this. But there it was, to my disbelief, an emotional connection that I had never felt before.
As the week of staff training continued the chemistry and emotional connection between Eric and me grew. We began sharing stories with one another, laughing together, and even bonding through conversation on and emotional and personal level. As the days continued, I became anxious and exhilarated about a relationship that was bound to grow and intensify. That was until I received the dreaded call from home.
While Eric and I were sitting under the same aged oak tree that we had met under, I picked up the phone and my mom spoke on the other line. Due to recent family struggles I was forced to move home and abandon my summer camp adventure. Taking responsibility of my obligations, I somberly backed up my luggage and stripped my bedding off of the jagged bunk beds that creaked with every turn.
That was the end for Eric and me. When I think back about that week we shared together at summer camp I am always reminded of a connection that I had never understood before. A connection that was about trust, understanding and honestly. A connection that I will never forget or regret having. I know that as the years pass by his blonde hair and blue eyes will fade out of my memory, but I will never forget the invincibility that I felt when I was with him.
Therefore, I will say it one last time; I am a believer of the magical connections that exist between two people. I believe that the power of human relationships is unlimited!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.