This morning had a bittersweet start to the day on the LLF, as Bernice, Scrappy and I stood at the front windows and waved (and woofed) goodbye to our friend, Sylvie. She had spent the weekend with us and it was FUN! I think Bernice is particularly blue about her departure, as she is very fond of Sylvie, who lavishes attention on her.
On my way up and over the mountain this morning, I was musing about nourishment. Not the big bowl of comfort food that we all covet this time of year, but that elusive nourishment for your soul; your spirit. There are many ingredients that can combine to bring yourself soul-nourishment: music, art, books, poetry, family, friends, a vast night sky; six hours of uninterrupted knitting. For me, at this age and time, I find that good female friends are the ones that fill me with comfort and a sense of well-being.
This was not always the case. From childhood through my 30s and into my 40s, all of my best friends were men. I did not cotton much to women's groups - probably a holdover from my gawd-awful high school days. And, because I moved almost constantly - every two years - I didn't hold onto friendships with either sex. My oldest friend was from my Cleveland days and he was a gem. We stayed in touch through letters (handwritten ones - remember those?) for years, right up until he passed away a few years ago. Keeping friendships alive and growing is a real art and takes work. My parents still have friends from their school days. They are much better at it than I am. But do not lament for me! (You were all getting ready to, weren't you?) Since I have moved to upstate NY, I have found wonderful friends (not forgetting my oldest friend, Els - who is actually much younger! - who saw me through dark days in a foreign country and is permanently woven into the fabric of my life.) And all of them are women.
Last night, Sylvie and I went to a birthday party thrown every year by two sisters with birthdays a day apart. This is a special party - by invitation only, a large group of women who have known each other, sometimes for years, who come together for food, drink and celebration. Most bring a soup, salad or appetizer to share, and there were some amazing desserts - none of which were gluten-free, dammit. Or whoopee. It depends on your view. As part of the birthday celebration, everyone was invited to share something creative with the group. My first reaction upon hearing this (I was invited with Sylvie, who is part and parcel of the group), was, "Oh, no. Not one of those women-things." Well, shut-my-mouth. I sat in a circle while one after the other of these amazingly fun and talented women read poetry, shared photographs, sang original compositions, and, in one case, unwrapped in front of our astonished eyes the most exquisite piece of handmade ceramics that engendered a full-group - "oooooooh!" I had to be torn away. Although, in retrospect, Sylvie's timing was perfect - I was saved the angst of those delectable desserts. The sheer enormity of the talent, humor and kindness in this group of friends was enough to leave me speechless. And that is saying something.
I woke up this morning feeling like I had been transported to a spa, where my spirit had been boosted, cares washed away. What a wonderful feeling. I'm sure I'll get over it..... : ^ )
p.s. Next Musings will include a little announcement.