Friends are Blessings

Over brunch, my new acquaintance and I discover we have a lot in common – both former teachers, interested in art and poetry, with a love birds. She is just getting back into life after a long stint of caring for a sick husband, who died a year ago. I am finding my footing in a new town, after years of my own isolation.

The friendship feels natural, and when we meet up again at the next poetry circle, we make more plans.

For most of my life, I have felt like the lone bird, perched below the gathered flock, wondering why I’m left out. A loner, is how I described myself in high school – a cover for shame and never feeling good enough.

I’m too old for all that self-deprecation nonsense now. I am an adult women who needs relationships.

So these days, I am letting my guard down, and giving thanks for the friends in my life – old and new.

Connection, after all, is what the heart craves.

The Gift of Friendship

Friends.jpgPippy has driven down from Campbell River with her girlfriend, Sandy and her dog, Sam.  We decide to leave the men to bond while we women go out for lunch and some catch up time.

I take them to Gabriel’s Gourmet Cafe, where Ric and I ate on our first day here.  It is busy and there is a bit of a wait, but we are in no hurry.  The weather forecast called for 100% chance of rain, but it has actually cleared up a bit and the window seat we finally procure is a perfect little nook for a visit.

Pippy is that perfect blend of pragmatic and eccentric, her presence both reassuring and fun.  I love what she brings to our relationship, and realize how deeply I have missed the repartee that comes only in the company of women.  Sandy, I discover in the moments I stop talking (which are embarrassingly few) has much in common with me, and it is only after they leave that I realize what I missed.

Tired after the outing, we all return and lay on the bed, sharing photos and more stories.  Sandy and Pippy paint together and have joined a singing group. The picture they portray of life on the island is so alluring, but I also realize how important relationships are to my well-being.  I need to get home to family and the friends I’ve left behind.  The years of isolation have taken their toll.

somaliwomenThey leave just before dinnertime, and exhausted from all that talking, I return to the quiet of my bed, glowing from the warmth of our time together.

Friends, I realize, each hold a key to our identity.  Pippy knows a particular side of me, and has always been encouraging and supportive.   Other friends  reflect different angles; all part of who I am, and all necessary for me to understand my wholeness.

It is easy to get stuck in isolation; to decide that solitude is a comfortable and suitable place, but it can also be stagnating.  Relationships provide the mirrors that we need to see ourselves, and if they are healthy, can be catalysts to real growth and change.

Thanks for holding the mirror up for me today, Pippy!  Hope I did the same for you.