Beautiful Friends

 

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I have a friend who lives in a high degree of appreciation of every moment. Her children have a family joke about her tendency to break off momentarily announcing “Oh, Look at that dog!”, or “Isn’t that beautiful?” Though they pull her leg each one of them realises they are indebted to her for inheriting a deep appreciation of nature and beauty.

This is a testament to her commitment to live above the daily grind of familiar frustrations. She learned this whilst fulfilling a selfless role as a Mom.  Home-schooling, carpooling, cake baking and home-making,  she was never quite sure she hadn’t denied something of her own calling. To what, she didn’t know except that she grew to recognise the depth of value and the legacy she had invested in her children.

This month, a quarter century later, I wrote in a Cape Cod seaman’s cottage with muted blue décor, crusty painted doors and white plaster panelling.  I worked on the final chapter of my first book whilst enjoying a lengthy and perfectly conceived holiday with her family in MA, New England.  My wonderful hosts and friends of old are a beautiful couple in their late fifties. Originating from Sri Lanka they entered my life in the late eighties when as a single woman I enjoyed entertaining her young children. My friend and I had fellowship after their bedtime whilst her anaesthetist intern husband was absent for long hours on call at Hull Royal Infirmary.

Like me, and like any couple, they have had their own cycles of frustration and fulfilment.   To be the sole recipient of their generous hospitality for the first time since my own entanglement and liberation is incredibly humbling, heart-warming and refreshing. It is poignant, to be here and single once again in the same generous company after divorce and recovery from many frustrated dreams.

Their daughter remembers that I was her childhood grown-up friend who gave her many memorable “first time” experiences. There was the first cinema visit to “Honey I shrunk the Kids”, the first sleepover and her first (and probably last) taste of rabbit stew!! Now as an animated and highly cultivated professional young woman, she is assisting her mother and father in giving me a round of first experiences in return.

I have seen my first wild seals in the Atlantic Ocean and drunk my first ever Margerita! I have tasted Reese’s peanut butter cups and Falafel “chips”, have been to a painting party and attended a Roaring twenties costume Lawn dance. Here at The Crane Estate’s ocean view setting amongst an enthusiastic crowd of vintage clothed picnickers I felt more English than I have ever felt at home!

All of this is a beautiful experience of the enriching cycle of life or the proverb “What goes around, comes around”.  Nothing ever goes to waste and each of us are living proof of the fact that if we will dare to live generously we will receive abundantly. Conversely, if we hold onto disappointment, withhold, restrict and begrudge others their chance, the same scarcity is dealt back to us. I firmly believe this.

Like attracts like! We disentangle, align, integrate and then magnify one another.

In a life of community we are collectively restored to the image of God.  It is as it was always intended, as if it had never been otherwise. And yet, because of the “otherwise” we are all the more useful. Where uniqueness intersects with uniqueness, genius shines forth in inconceivable ways!

We are clothed with original beauty, becoming new – vintage creations

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