"It's hard to make friends sometimes," she murmured over hot citrus tea.We spoke of middle school and family moves, finding commonality in frequent goodbyes from our past. She and I laughed over husky cold voices and nagging coughs, grabbing runny-nose tissues.
"It's worth it -- this hurt of another goodbye. Friendships are," I said softly, a truth harvested from my own life. She agreed and swirled her tea. We talked more, laughing and getting to know each other.
- - - - - -Another day this week, I raced out the door, juggling a platter of hummus and veggies, a crystal bowl of chocolates, and map directions to a friend's new house. Arriving breathless and late, I shrugged off my jacket, and grabbed them for tight hugs. "I've missed you!" I exclaimed into sweet-smelling hair.
Four young women idled in a pumpkin-hued kitchen and dining room, stirring creamy mac and cheese, assembling elegant cheeses on a plate, and dipping decadent truffles.
"We used to have a book club, but no one really read the book. Well, just two of us did. So then we changed it to a Pinterest party, so our husbands feel like we're being productive," she joked, "but really we just get together to eat food and talk." She went on to speak of a few projects that emerged from their times together, but you could see the deep camaraderie and history these women shared. Babies were passed and updated on with cheerful intimacy. Hugs and jokes were frequent and warm. At one point of the conversation, tears broke out among the four of us with relaxed naturalness, followed by laughter.
I nibbled on salty slices of romano cheese, and slid into creamy bites of brie. Over orange pepper slices and hummus, we spoke of lives, marriages, in-laws, and family. Having watched most of these women grow up over the years, I was proud of them, saw them as equals, and was humbled to be invited to join them. "We should invite So-and-So to join us," they mused among themselves, already seeing ways to spill out into others' lives. I grabbed some more blue brie before heading home to relieve my babysitting-daughter.
- - - - - -Tonight I join two old-time friends of mine. Over fabulous salads and sandwiches in a two-storied glass restaurant, we will watch the cars and pedestrians pass by in the dark streets below. A red and green fluorescent dragon will arch his back against the building across the street, and we will unfold our lives together.
These friendships between women... we all need them. We can all start them, or continue them, or spill them out to others around us. Ask God to give you his eyes to see the people around you, then grab your calendar and your phone. "It's worth it"-- the time, the risk of pain, the investments. It's worth it.
Have you seen these two older posts on friendships? "Of Fires and Friendships: And How Do You Be a Good Friend?" and "Of Friendships and Peanut Butter."
Photos from Microsoft clip art.