Sunday morning began here.
We probably invited at least fifty people. Prior commitments and conflicts prevented many from coming. Emotions and insecurities prevented others.
Mary Ann and I have maintained a college- rooted friendship for twenty eight years. She and Karen and I have gone on many a “girls beach trip.” My best friend from high school, Della, was melded into our circle long ago, so that there are usually four in our circle.
It’s funny how some things change and others stay the same. They have managed to keep the same husbands. They have all lived in the same cities for nearly thirty years. Mary Ann is always the one in charge of the trip and always seems to out-give us all … bringing gifts for everyone almost every time we get together. Karen is always the one adorned in gorgeous flouncy dresses, who makes friends with the cashier, the waiter, the hotel clerk, the bouncer and anyone with a child under ten, an infant or a dog. Della always makes us laugh with her wit and quick quips and drives the vehicle that is the most fun (a red Jeep Wrangler included in that list). And I have always been the one to end up sunburned and needing a sweater I didn’t bring, that wilts around 8:30 pm, then gets up long before anyone else to run or bike or paddle.
About two years ago, we got together with a few college friends that we had not seen in years. Yes, Facebook was a huge factor in finding those people. Having enjoyed our visit so much, Mary Ann began a quest to put together another gathering.
This weekend, Mary Ann, Karen and I were a part of a group of eight that ate, talked, laughed and cried over the period of one lovely weekend. Some were only able to make it for Saturday night. A few of us were there Saturday through Monday morning. Each sliver of each day was sweet, tender and delicious.
Sunday morning, I went out on the water in my kayak. I wanted to have some “sunrise over the water” photos to help me remember the beauty of these fleeting days.
After I got back in, Mary Ann was reading on the porch and soaking in some morning rays. With coffee in hand, I joined her and we talked, listened to morning birds and enjoyed the cool tile floor and warm rays of light.
We even took a few minutes to take a tiny, sweet nap.
It’s funny how excitement changes through the years, isn’t it? When I was little and got excited about a trip, I thought I would simply implode upon myself. On the days leading up to the excursion, I felt like I was jumping up and down on the inside. But, in the last ten years, my excitement has a different flavor. I almost feel like I’m holding my breath with a huge happy grin … as the plans begin to come together for any wonderful event. It feels like the start of a head-spinning, dress twirling, open armed swoon.
And so was this weekend … a swoon … an unfolding of a beautiful blossom. And Sunday morning was a quiet little treat sandwiched between boisterous laughter, tight-squeezed hugs and heartfelt conversations dribbled with a tear.
I always try to leave EARLY when going anywhere in, around or on the other-side-of Atlanta. Traffic there can predictably slow or unpredictable snarl in a matter of moments. So, I got to Atlanta early enough to have a few hours to spare before I was expected at the lake. I had no problem figuring out what to do with my time; I went to Anthropologie. Others head to Ikea. I find my way to Anthropologie. I could completely furnish my home and fill my closet with their silky clothing and eccentric home accessories. It is such a succulent store.
Talk about beautiful. I swooned when I saw these! Look at THIS link! As much as I would have LOVED to buy at least two or three full settings of this beautiful dinnerware – poetic prose and beautiful flowers on ceramic, earthenware! oh boy! – I opted to choose two coffee cups to bring home.
And so, I sat with Mary Ann, coffee in hand, birds in the air and sweet fellowship between us … and we began our day.
I’m thankful for friendships … ancient by today’s standards
rich by my standards and
deep by any standards.
I’m thankful for little remembrances of special times … like a coffee cup that peek-a-boos flowers with the tip of it’s rim when coffee nears the dregs.
And I’m grateful for renewed friendships … familiarity that is built through shared fellowship, comfort that comes from history and depth that continues to grow.