Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
The Bounty Of Friends
I am not a very social person, but I have a few good friends that mean the world to me. We don't get together every week, or sometimes we don't even talk for weeks at a time. But we know that if we need each other or just want to talk we are there. We pick up the mantle of conversation with ease when we do call or visit. We catch up with each other, we gossip, we giggle, we enjoy friendship. I have one dear friend --my 'best friend' who I've known since sometime in grade school. We can't quite remember when, but we vaguely remember how we first became friends. Over the years we have drifted in and out of keeping in touch. She married, and we both got involved in our lives. For several years we fell completely out of touch. Then we re-connected and our friendship continues. We have lunch often, and we never have enough time to talk, but we enjoy each other. She is an open, unaffected person, generous of heart and full of laughter. She gives the best and most heartfelt hugs. Why would I ever want to lose this friendship?
Through the years I've connected with other people and become friends. It always seems odd in retrospect that certain people will become your dear friends. Sometimes you have little in common, sometimes there is an age difference, but I can look back and know that these people touched my lives in real and rich ways and became a part of my being. Some of them have passed away, some have moved far away, even some I've never met in person!
Then there is friendship that goes beyond that simple word. Some people are just a part of you, forever and ever. My cousin and I grew up together --we were inseparable. There were only a few months difference in our ages and we lived within a mile or so walking distance. I can never remember a time when she wasn't in my life. Sometimes I think about how we must have lain together on a blanket and probably stared at each other, and maybe giggled little baby giggles. As we grew we explored, and played and swam and used our extraordinary imaginations to make the mundane exciting and brave. When you run pell-mell down a steep rock and shrub strewn ridge, fleeing from a bear (likely a fire blackened stump in a grown up mind) you are connected with that person forever. You shared the heart thumping fear, the screams and eventually the hysterical laughter. Together you built tadpole farms in the creek and felt minnows nibble at your legs. You raised imaginary horses on green fields, married imaginary ranchers and raised more imaginary horses. In reality you helped your cousin with her daily chores on a dairy farm. The work was hard and allot was expected from them, but between the chores there was always time to play and laugh and a never ending playground. As we matured our paths parted ---our lives became dis-injoined. She eventually moved away. Life has dealt her unimaginable tragedies. Sometimes out of the blue, I think of her and my heart aches for her, and I wonder how she is doing. We keep in touch, but not well. We meet at funerals and hug each other and sob and vow to do better. We love each other, but we are separated at this time in our lives. Not a day goes by when I don't think of her, or some silly thing we may have done. My childhood memories are so intertwined with her that there is no way to separate them out. We've decided that someday we will sit in our rockers---side by side----at the nursing home and once more relive our memories. I love you dear cousin, I surely do.
Yesterday I visited a friend who is one of those people you meet up with in life and feel connected to instantly. Sometimes her and I plan things to do or just visit and chat. Her husband goes on rendezvous sometimes so we often enjoy going places that wouldn't interest him. The other day she called and offered the bounty of her garden. I immediately said yes, and went over last night. I have a garden, but it's pretty pathetic at the worst of times, and small even in the best of times. She has a huge garden and plants enough for an army. We picked and loaded up sacks of tomatoes, cukes, squash, okra and zucchini. Then we visited. I got to see video of her first grand child, and her re-papered kitchen. We caught up on our lives, and had a wonderful time. She finally sent me home with a lovely bouquet of zinnias and the bouquet of friendship.
Treasure your friends, think of them often, and always realize God places these special people along your path as you travel the road of life. Some are there only briefly and others will walk with you the whole distance.