I sat on the deck last night and looked west. The sun was casting long rays across the garden lighting up the rain droplets on the butternut squash. The chickens were eating the cabbage worms from the cabbage leaves I spread out for them, and the kids were running around down by the creek. I could hear whoops and screeches as they played with the neighbor kids. The crickets were humming and the birds singing. We just ate dinner on the deck, the dishes still on the table, with pieces of cucumber salad, cabbage and pork stew, mashed new potatoes—the garden is feeding us.
I looked at Karl and said “This is my favorite time of year.” Though, I may say that again in fall and winter and spring. Those moments when everything is at it’s peak of the season, and I know it, those are the moments I love. I love the slowing down: hanging clothes on the line and watching it rain on them for two days, the way the chickens know exactly when it’s time to go in.
I’ve had a stream of connections with old friends lately. It feels good. We moved to a new town two years ago, and I am in love with it. I love the community and friendships we are developing. I love the hills and trees. I love the farms and music. But, having my old friend, Ellen (from my Freshman year in college), visit last weekend gave me something I’ve been missing. I was fumbling for the word to describe what her visit did for me. I was remembering a recent article about the regrets of the dying, and one regret was losing touch with old friends. “There’s something having you here gives me, after exploring all this newness, something steady and deep. It gives my life—”
“—continuity.” She finished my sentence, like an old friend can. “The work is done, we can enjoy each other.” Yes! That’s it. The acceptance for another that develops over time—when we stick with and make the effort to stay in touch with our friends, is a deep delight, a slowing down.
There’s more where that came from! I am preparing to host another old friend, Janet, who helped us open New Day Cafe, who knows me amidst the elation of opening and the despair of losing it all. She’s the one who took the kids for the night without my asking, who bought a vacuum cleaner because we needed one, who gave whatever she had to help us through. Reconnecting with this friend, this time, will give my life even more “–continuity.”