Friday, April 30, 2010

"half as hard, and twice as good..."

"...With my good news
you're dancing on the table.
Baby's born, to celebration.
The joy of life,
oh what a sweet communion,
shared with you.

Every burden I have carried,
every joy--it's understood.
Life with you is half as hard,
and twice as good."

- Sara Groves

I hope that whoever you are, you have at least least one special someone, with whom, life is half as hard, and "twice as good."  Be it a sister, a brother, mother, dad, daughter, best friend, colleague, neighbor, pen pal.  You may have immediately thought of that "someone," the minute you heard the chorus to Sara's song.  Perhaps you have two, or three, or a dozen such someones.

I've been thinking about what it is that makes one very special "
twice as good" friend, the perfect friend...for me.  And, I think it boils down to trust.  I trust her.  She trusts me.  I know that whether we talk, email, or visit once, twice, a dozen times...or not at all, in a given year, it will not matter one tiny, teensy, eensy bit.  We trust eachother, and we trust the Source of the love we share...divine Love, God...unconditional, reliable, persistent, irrepressible, inexhaustible, disarmingly relentless, infinite Love. 

We trust that the bonds which have been forged in Life's purifying fires, are tried, galvanized, and pure.  And, we trust that those same bonds have been strengthened and set in the ceaseless flow of Love's cooling waters of...drop by droplet of compassion, humor, and wisdom.  My friend has often been the "face of God" when I needed to see His, God's kindness, hear Her voice of mercy, and feel the unearned  presence of divine tangible, recognizable ways.

In my darkest hours, my "
twice as good" friend has always been there, sitting next to me, saying nothing, but feeling everything.  In my moments of supreme joy, she celebrates my happiness...with more abandon than I ever could, or would.  She is the best kind of mirror... she is arrestingly honest, and infinitely kind.

"...When I am down
and need to cry till morning,
I know just where I am going.
When I'm in need of sweet commiseration,
to speak out loud.
Raise a glass to friendship
and to knowing
you don't have to go alone.
We'll raise out hearts
to share each other's burdens
On this road. ."

When I lost a child in a pre-term birth, she was the person who best understood that, as heartbroken as I was, I would not have given up the experience of carrying my tiny daughter, and feeling her move, even if it meant that I could have avoided the pain of her loss.   She is still the "place" I go when I need to be able to say her name aloud.  She understands.

Soon after the twins were born, my "
twice as good" friend flew to Massachusetts (where we were living), to celebrate their arrival.  After dropping our older daughter off at school, she and I drove along the North Shore, to my favorite stretch of sand, sea, and sky on earth, Singing Beach.  We parked the car, put the girls in front packs, walked the sand, searched the foamy shoreline for sea glass, and talked and talked while the girls slept on our chests.  It was a perfect example of life becoming twice as good when shared with someone who "gets you." 

Heartbreak, hopes, sorrows, joys, silence and laughter...she is my living, walking, breathing journal.  I have written my life...on her heart.  All my thoughts are naked before her.  All my dreams take on the golden light of "possibility" in her eyes.  She washes the windows of my soul with her tears, and polishes them with her love-softened view of me...which is always kinder than I see myself.

"...Every burden I have carried,
every joy--it's understood.
Life with you is half as hard,
And twice as good.

I know we're growing older.
Can you imagine what that will bring?
It's all a mystery to me now.
Except this one thing...
It'll be half as hard,
and twice as good."

As I look back with gratitude and forward with hope, I know that I have learned more about unconditional love through my friendships, than can ever be measured or recorded. This friendship is as constant as the sun, and as liberating the wind.  When I think of her heart, there is nothing but complete trust.  I trust that she will always tell me the truth.  I trust that she will never ask me to violate a confidence, or pass me over a learning experience, lightly.  She will hold my hand, as she holds my toes to the fire. 

Mary Baker Eddy says, in her autobiography,
Retrospection and Introspection:

"There are no greater miracles known to earth
than perfection and an unbroken friendship."

I agree...

As a wise sage once told me, "You will always know your true friend.  With her/him you will say, "I am as much you, as I am myself."  How right she was.  I don't know how to separate the woman I am becoming, from the better view she has always held of me...and encouraged me to find inside myself...with God. 

One night during some intense spiritual study, I became transfixed on the word "behold," and it occurred to me that I hadn't re-acquainted myself with it, through a fresh sense of its meaning, in a long time...something I like to do with my word friends.  I went to one of my favorite online dictionaries and typed in "b-e-h-o-l-d," and there it was, a definition that took my breath away, "to not only see, but to see and call attention to."   That's what my "
twice as good" friend does for me.  She not only sees something of God in me, or in an experience I am having (no matter how obscure) but she sees it and calls my attention to it. 

Together we stand, side-by-side, hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-shoulder looking at the world through each other's eyes.  I've learned quite a lot about how beautiful it all is, from her point of view. 

In another of her books,
Miscellaneous Writings 1883 - 1896, Eddy encourages:

"Hast thou a friend, and forgettest to be grateful?
Remember, that for all this thou alone canst,
and must, atone."

My prayer is that I never forget to be grateful...for this, Thy so great a miracle.

with Love,

Kate Robertson, CS

No comments:

Post a Comment