I want to write about a dear friend of mine. We partnered up for a few projects while bogged down in our undergraduate. In those never-ending days I was raising children and Lena was living in residence so we would get together at my house where the television was often running and kids were wandering in and out. We would discuss literature and critics; we would brainstorm ideas for our papers, eat meals, snacks, and drink coffee, coffee, tea.
However, on a particular remove-your-coat, sunglasses-day in March (which happened to be my birthday) we opted to skip class in favour of sitting on the patio at the Grad House and order a jug of sunshine. There we sat, sipped and soaked in the sunshine until it was time to remove the sunglasses and shade our shoulders with the coats of March. The day was a gift. Weather-wise I had never had such a fine birthday, nor have I again.
As it does, time has turned its hand, my children have moved out and on with their own lives, Lena has married, is raising two children of her own, and working three jobs while she earns a PHD. We manage to visit a couple times a year, email once in a while, and hardly talk on the phone because time is unforgiving.
Yesterday, the sun shining, March winds blowing, Lena booked the day away from children, work, and studies. She turned off her cell-phone, drove to my house and picked me up to spend another birthday.
After a brief visit in my too quiet house we went for a drive chattering all the way about our different struggles with time – her demands so high that a tub-soak is a two-year-ago luxury (as every mother knows) while my nest suffers neglect and envy. She told me about a book, a must read by Jane Anderson who writes about "finding your authentic self after a lifetime of being all things to all people." Lena laughed, telling me that she had picked the book up because Jane Anderson so aptly fit the life enhancement into her schedule: A Weekend to Change your Life.
Thus engaged in wonderful conversation we lived a bit of the advice from the book and drove to Amherstburg Ontario where there is a quaint Tea House, white lace on dark tables, sunlight streamed from a bay window charming the dimly lit room. Menus were brought out and rejected by my dear friend who had already arranged everything for the five course lunch part of our date. For the better part of three hours we sipped tea (a most wonderful tea, which I have to ask the flavor of) and soup, nibbled salad and tiny sandwiches and cheese-cake and fruit and crumpets, and we chattered before taking another pleasant drive to a garden shop where we strolled and gazed at the promise of spring.
We spent time as if we were rich in it: my mind never once wandered away to phone calls I have to place, forms that need filling, the condition of my kitchen, or any other worry that the resent world has held for me.
Last night I removed crystal figurines from the cabinet where they were kept safe through the years of bouncing balls to hacky-sacs to the 'my-parents are-out-of-town-lets-part' years and displayed then on the dragon-fly gem-stone mirror this friend gifted to me after our lunch. I flipped on the lamp, sat back with a glass of red wine and I marveled at the rainbow reflects: past, present, and future.
And I said thank you
to the universe
for gifting me
in all ways
And thank you!