"She became for me an island of light, fun, wisdom where I could run with my discoveries and torments and hopes at any time of day and find welcome."
Recent visits with good, female friends have left me feeling more myself these days. A welcome feeling, to be sure.
But because my good friends don't live where I live, our visits together become fuzzier in my mind as the days pass. I think it's because the memories are not rooted in the place where I live but in some other place, another climate, another culture.
I write to remember. I want to remember...
...how we spotted dolphins at the beach, two days in a row. And how we laughed and laughed at our luck.
...the earthy smell in the middle of Brooklyn the morning I stepped out with my friend to head to the subway - a smell that evoked memories of springtime in Vermont at Bennington College.
...the quick mornings on the East coast, getting breakfast ready and drinking tea, and the slow mornings on the West coast letting the sunlight pour into the house as we gathered our thoughts and talked about going to the beach, eventually.
...the beautiful woman at the Botanic Gardens with four children, yelling at them in French to stay close as they ran around underneath her - how lovely she sounded even though she was yelling.
...the dinner we had on Sunday, how we agreed we were really hungry but agreed to share the polenta and gnocchi, and keep the menu if we wanted to order more.
...the moments when my friend asked me questions about my life - what vitamins I've been taking lately, why I feel older than I really am. How she said, "Let's talk about that..." and how I felt listened to in those moments.
...talking about going to see a movie, but then deciding at the last minute to take a long train ride to a beautiful park for a long hike as the sun set.
...my friend's iced mocha, how I pointed it out to her when I first saw her and how we chuckled at the fact that she always has to have an iced mocha.
...her golden bunny rabbit necklace.
...the feeling of holding hands with a woman I've not seen in two years... a woman I love dearly.
...making green smoothies for each other and feeling healthy.
...the woman with the old dog sitting outside my friend's apartment building... how she softened as I approached her like the roses on the bush beside her, blossoming but weak from the frost.
...the two little girls on bikes and how the one said, "Okay, we are almost ready. I will tell you when to go." How the other girl nodded and waited for her friend to tell her when to start peddling.
...the sleepy, marmalade-colored cat behind my friend's house and how it slept in a circular patch of shade one morning.
...cooking with leftover butternut squash soup, turning it into a sauce to drizzle over baked potatoes, and how good that tasted.
...calling my husband early in the morning to say Hello.
...the whiteness of the clouds and the blueness of the sky as I flew home to Ohio.
inspired by the lovely Susannah Conway