Time For Friends

gifts from Emily (I’ll return the book after I read it.  She was sure I’d enjoy it and if you can judge a book by it’s cover….)

Like you, I HAVE good friends, and they help me BE a good friend. Funny how that works!Jill left this message on my blog after buying “Happy” magnets for her friends.

There have been times in my life where I was actively looking for friends. When I was younger, but also as an adult.  When Jon and I moved to Cambridge from Hebron, which is only 15 minutes away but a whole different reality, one of the things I was looking for was community.

I used to think that there was only one kind of friend.  The friend who knew me so well we were like sisters.  And that they would be there forever.

In community I found  that there are all kinds of friends.

I have a friend who I see whenever I go to our Co-op and she is working which is several times a week. I have friends who I never see and only text or email.  I have friends who I dance with, friends I Zoom with, friends  I have tea or dinner with.  Friends I walk with and one friend who I have been having lunch with regularly for almost 15 years.

She is my oldest friend.

Not as long a friendship as many people have.  But I feel like our friendship has the depth of a childhood friend even if it doesn’t have the years.

I have had good friends over the years, they just didn’t last a lifetime.  I changed so much when I got divorced  I gave up all the friends I had, or they gave me up.

I have grown my friendships over the past 15 years.

I work at keeping in touch and making time for my friends.  I am constantly learning to accept them for who they are.  I also understand that friendships, like most things in life, ebb and flow.  There are times when I connect more easily to one friend than another.   I understand now that this is just the way of friendship.

Yesterday I had lunch with my oldest friend, Mandy.  We met at her house as we do every other Monday.  I’ll heat up my soup on her stove and bring  something sweet for us to share.  Mandy makes me tea and we sit at her dining room table and talk for two hours.

Today I went to visit my friend Emily.

Emily and I have been dancing together every Wednesday night for over six years, but we really became friends during Covid when we would have a Zoom Studio Visit with each other every week.

We don’t do studio visits anymore, but the bond between us is real and strong.  We still talk art and Emily was as eager to show me the collages she is making in preparation for a show at the Pownal Library in July, as I was to see them.

Today we sat under an umbrella on Emily deck and ate her homemade sourdough bread with cheese and olives, then lemon pound cake with fruit for dessert.

I told her about my Bird and Tree fabric painting and in conversation realized that I needed to bring more life, more color to the piece.  It was just this morning, when I woke up,  that I understood that the piece is really about all the life there is in a dying tree.

As Emily and talked, I could see the leaves stitched at the bottom of the piece, and the purples and blues in my black bird.

When we finished eating we walked through Emily yard which is filled with gardens, some flowering and other getting ready to bloom.  I dug up a few sprigs of sedum to bring home.

In my mind I imagined getting up early and doing some work in my studio before going to Emily’s house.  Or that I’d have time to work when I got home.  But I think even I knew, somewhere inside of me, how unrealistic that is.

What I’m saying is that it’s important to me to make time for my friends.

It’s too easy to be too busy all the time.  I feel like after more than ten years of being self-employed, I’m finally learning how to take a day off.  Not just for the emergencies that happen in life, but for the good things too.  The nourishing things like time with friends.

That’s what I did today.  And even though I have some ghost pangs of guilt and a twinge of fear, I wouldn’t change one thing about the day.

6 thoughts on “Time For Friends

  1. Maria, it sounds like an absolutely perfect day! Reading about it made me smile. You’re doing all the right things and taking days off to take care of YOU! I hope the happiness and contentedness that your writing indicates makes up for the unhappy days of the past. Every day is a gift, and it seems you are celebrating each one in a way that brings JOY to your heart.

  2. I have 2 old friends who’ve been part of my life for a long time. One is a childhood girlfriend of over 50 years and the other is a college friend of over 40 years. It blows my mind that we’ve been friends for so long.
    I lost half of my family when my husband divorced me. I leaned on my oldest friend who had been divorced. She got me through it.
    Enjoy your friendships! I know that I sure enjoy mine.

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