This past weekend is always my favourite one of the year. It is the time ~ actually not a weekend at all but four days or so ~ when several ‘old’ friends get together and just hang out. There is a ton of eating, some (I’m not talking) drinking, a lot of laughter and occasionally some tears.
Seventeen years ago our friend Leanne sent out an invitation. She and her husband had recently purchased a cabin on a vacation lake and she thought it might be a good idea to bring together a group of friends for a weekend of girl’s stuff, or as the invitation euphemistically read: Women’s Wellness Weekend: Ladies of the Lake. The premise is still the same though the title has since denigrated to something altogether different ~ but that’s another story or likely a whole book.
We began with seven women, all good friends of Lee. Four still lived in Leanne’s home town, three others were more distant. Some of us had known one another for many years, one or two were barely acquainted, some were strangers to each other. One of the original group had some issues which prevented her from joining us for more than a few hours each year and eventually simply dropped out. A few years back we added another, more recent friend.
Though the dynamics change from year to year depending upon the stuff of life, we all seem to settle very quickly into various roles ~ this one is a fabulous cook, that one jumps up first to clean up, another instigates thoughtful conversations. WWW XVII was no exception. Though the hostess is very adept at it herself, I have taken on the role of fire-builder and she graciously humours me.
This being October, albeit a sunny and warm one, we needed a constant fire. I was building the first one of the day and it was not cooperating. I pride myself on being able to start a fire with minimal paper and a few sticks of kindling. This day the fire was in danger of going out and needed a bit of nurturing. I began blowing on the few sparks which were burning. Just as humans, fire needs oxygen to survive. As I sat there patiently feeding little gusts of air to the sparks until one flicker produced another and then another and I had a huge log or two boisterously ablaze, it occurred to me that building a fire is a lot like building a life. One gust at a time, we must patiently nurture it and provide little sparks with oxygen so that it builds and builds into a roaring blaze ~ and when it dies down we must find that spark again and start all over until the flame reaches high once more.
Friendships are a little like that too, they flame up and they become benign but undying embers. We feed them, sometimes by way of gatherings such as our group, sometimes by way of support for one struggling, sometimes by the celebrations of life, and they become radiant again.
And the circle goes round and round....
First posted on My Blog.
Causes Sharon Tillotson Supports
Leukemia Research Foundation of Canada
Kidney Foundation of Canada