I had some enjoyable moments last week with friends and family, and a funny little moment in a fabric shop watching these two little future quilters in the lower right corner climb up the shelves of fabric. I was also able to attend Andrew’s baptism at the age of eight, and I got all teary listening to the talks, the messages from the bishop of that congregation, and enjoying seeing my son interact with his sons (he has four boys).
Another friend and I traveled to Roger’s Gardens in Costa Mesa (Orange County) to see their holiday decorations, newly revealed and loved all their arrangements. But since we didn’t rob a bank before going, we took snapshots of a lot of them for you to enjoy (although I would have like to have sent you all that beautiful wreath in the upper right).
And to honor another friend, we finally gathered up all the signature blocks we needed in order to make a quilt for Lora.
Another reminder of how the weekend went was the chance I had to listen to still another friend who had just lost her father, and all the attendant issues that come with the dismantling of a childhood home, of caring for the remaining aging parent, of dealing with grief and loss.
Some of us have known each other for 25 years or more, and like all friendships, our ties to each other have come about layer by layer and shared experiences and I have had a chance to reflect on why they had impacted my life so deeply. The salient characteristic was as Emerson described: they listened to listen. They listened to learn. They listened and then asked questions and our answers and questions to each other would ping-pong back and forth.
They never listened to me in anticipation of getting the conversation centered back on themselves, a commonplace experience nowadays. Slowly over time, like the process of building a quilt, we learned about each other, the years sifting over us until we found ourselves at a dinning room table talking about seam allowances, a flood in a kitchen, how a child is doing in college, a child’s wedding. Not all friendships can go the distance, and perhaps Emerson’s words are a golden nugget for me to think about again and again. All I know is that time with a good friend is a treasure, and this past week I had more than my share.