It has been a week of old friendships.
We were invited to a birthday party for an old friend, held in a local restaurant, and it was lovely to be part of the special festivities. The birthday dinner was his gift to her, and in return she arranged a short ceremony in which they re-affirmed their wedding vows. So touching!
Last week I had a lovely long chat with someone who was just in town from Brisbane, for just a few days, but who wanted to have a phone conversation at least. We usually comment on each other's Facebook antics! It was special that she wanted to take some time to do this.
This morning we attended a lovely birthday breakfast for an old friend -and his wife, children and grand-children along with his many friends, spoke of their true affection for a remarkable man. His wife commented that he was -and is-a wonderful companion.
On Friday I was enticed out of the office by a couple of friends just in town for a few weeks. We sat and had coffee under the shade of a tree and chatted.
We went out last night to dinner and a show with some friends, and it was a great time! We saw a preview of the Sapphires which will be a Festival of Perth event.
This basket sits by my chair. Alongside the most recent set of books from the library, it contains some light but important reading-all those Christmas cards and letters that came from friends and family, near and far. I am enjoying pulling them out whilst having a cuppa, and reading them over again. I use the cards for bookmarks, and each time I do so I am reminded of my friends.
I have learned to appreciate friendship which exists beyond affection or just being colleagues at work. I have learned to appreciate friendship which can last over distance and over time. I appreciate the time taken to remember a birthday, or listen to a worry, or invite a sharing of a celebration. I appreciate friends who know my secrets or my pain, and hold them and me tightly when I need to be held.
It is part of my thinking today, my pondering on the simple life, that friendship is one of the greatest gifts we can give to each other. One thing I love to do is to invite people who can to come and have lunch with me when I am at work. This gives us the opportunity to catch up regularly without lots of preparation and -for my female friends-without the need for spouses to complicate the conversations!! (sorry guys)
My DH loves to invite people over to our house. He has always had the gift of hospitality and I appreciate the way he gathers in old and new friends in this way. We have both come to realise that it does not need elaborate preparation or competitive cooking -the most important thing is the idea of eating and laughing and sharing together. So the important thing is just to do it -as often as possible!
I also appreciate the new friends I have made through the internet. Last Saturday we met as a group of Aussies Living Simply members in a 'real life Get Together' which was great fun. I enjoy reading a number of blogs each weekend and feel as though I am privileged to share in the lives of women and men around the world, many of whom now I feel quite close to!
I notice that I have had another person join this site as a subscriber. Welcome! Thanks for those who made comments after the last blog post -you are an encouragement to me!