"Precious and few
are the moments we took and shared..."
"Precious and Few" by Climax begs the question that is in my heart tonight. What if we knew, as it was happening, that an individual moment in our lives, was precious and rare? That it might just be one of the most wonderful moments in someone's life?
There are many moments that I have been able to recognize, in hindsight, as special. But there are few that, as they unfolded in front of my eyes, I was able to see how remarkable they were.
This is one.
We were all busy women with careers, husbands, homes, and responsibilites. So when Leslie called to say that she was planning to come out for her college reunion, and that our mutual friend, Jeanie might also come, I wasn't sure I could find the time during a busy summer weekend to join them for a brief visit on the Pub patio.
First there was the drive...an hour. Then there was the sheer fact that we'd be meeting on the campus of the college she and Jeanie had graduated from during a huge reunion...a college that I hadn't attended. Sigh...the last thing I wanted to be doing was crashing a school reunion. And even if I decided to go, what would I do with our preschool-age twins? I was ready to call Leslie and let her know that it just wasn't going to work out, when the phone rang. It was Leslie. And before I knew it, I'd promised to at least come up for a milkshake and a brief visit with her and Jeanie.
As the weekend got closer and closer, I was ready to bail. An endless list of errands and family demands loomed in front of me. But then I would think of Leslie's enthusiasm about this visit and I knew I had to make it work.
Saturday dawned with a haze of Midwest heat hanging in the air. A cloudless blue sky promised nothing short of triple digits. I got the girls up, breakfasted, and focused on an activity while their dad worked, and took off for the college expecting to be back by lunchtime.
But something shifted as I was winding along the River Road. I felt light-hearted, almost giddy, and girlish. I was going to meet my buddies, my pals. I felt like Nancy Drew in her little yellow roadster on her way to pick up George and Bess for an adventure. What did it matter that it wasn't my alma mater....I was going.
I arrived at the college and found Leslie and Jeanie already leaning into eachother's space conspiratorily, and laughing with abandon. They were my pals and we were going to have fun. I joined them, explaining that I wouldn't be able to stay long....and it didn't take me long to realize that I was wrong.
This was special. And I knew it. My children were fine. My errands would wait. My house was clean enough.
We sat there all day. We never moved...except to get shake refills and use the facilities. We talked about everything and nothing. We shared tears of sadness and laughed till we cried. We said hello to people we knew but never let it dessemble the space we were in with one another. We watched the lunch crowd arrive, socialize, and leave for afternoon activities, and we didn't budge. We watched the sun move from east to west and we let it take its course...without worrying if we should have been doing something else. And we listened to eachother. Stories were shared, healings were recounted, and dreams were unpacked. There was no room for gossip...our own life stories kept us engaged.
By the end of the afternoon, I knew it was a day I would never forget. It was carved out for us by a benevolent Universe. I've thought about that day every time I think I just don't have "time" to do something with a friend.
I was talking with Leslie not long ago, and asked her if she remembered that day...just one day out of hundreds in a friendship that spanned decades...and she told me that, outside of time she spent with her husband and family, it was one of the most wonderful days of her life. And she meant it.
Leslie recently passed on. Her journey is continuing in ways that I can't wait to hear about. She will have such great stories to share.
In talking with Jeanie last week, I told her that our day on the Pub patio had been one of Leslie's most happy, and meaningful days, and she agreed. It had been for her too. I guess it's unanimous then.
We never know when a seemingly uneventful moment with a friend will become an unforgettable, life-punctuating encounter with grace. But when we realize that, as Mary Baker Eddy says in her autobiography, Retrospection and Introspection:
"There are no greater miracles known to earth
than perfection and an unbroken friendship."
we are willing to make space in our lives for something that is so precious...and few.
I am so grateful for this day...thank you Salty...I love you,
Kate Robertson, CS