Gliding, gently across the glass surface,
Trying not to disturb.
splish… splash… splish… splash… until I reach other side…
Only to find the quietest cove.
The crooked bridge smiles, and welcomes me.
A perfect frame to the delight that awaits inside.
I am a humble guest here.
Hello, old friend! May I come in?
Please do, I only ask that you remove your shoes.
Morning light twinkles, tickles my skin,
dripping through spaces between weathered wood.
The deep lines on my brow soften and fade, the first time in months…years.
I only breathe in, and out…in, and out…
Floating there so bashful, just to my left
Five tiny lily pads and two curious blossoms.
They giggle and tug at my pant as I enter and kick my shoes off.
I know this will be a lovely visit.
Who’s eyes are those, peaking timidly through a shady curtain of branches?
Oh, they are adorable.
Hello, there. I’ve brought you some delicious bread.
I hope you will have some with me.
Come, friend. We will sit on the porch.
The breeze is so refreshing this time of year.
There is a swing, and sweet lemonade.
We will listen to music and catch up on old times.
A familiar tune plays, in surround sound, from the perches above.
I love this song. Where have I heard this before?
We remember, and laugh. Weren’t we silly back then?
The tall blades of grass swish back, and forth… back, and forth…
Upon several, I find the most delicate creatures.
Such tiny wings, I’d swear these are fairies. Irridescent, light purplish blue.
They dance for me, spinning, spiraling, twirling.
Only one, a much fancier blue… Look what I can do!
Your children are lovely. My goodness, where has the time gone?
Seems like yesterday, our future, a dream.
Here we are, in a blink.
How we’ve aged. How they’ve grown.
No, I do not have any of my own.
Oh how I wish I could stay here all day, sipping and chatting with you.
This lemonade is the best I have tasted.
I have had the most fun.
We should definitely do this more often.
But I know as life goes, while intentions are good,
It may be months… years…
So long for now, dear friend.
Promise we will soon do this again.
We embrace with a pause, sweet little hugs at my knees.
as I place worn shoes back on my cool bare feet.
They have been there for me throughout…The ups and downs, the ins the outs, the upside-downs… they have been there for all of it. They have never given up on me. They have never judged me. They make gifts for me. A blanket, a scarf, original artwork, soup, home-made jelly, and one of my favorites… a crocheted hat with a flower on it, given to me when i needed it most. They send letters, cards, and the most thoughtful presents in the mail. One friend sends me my favorite incense sometimes…what a treat! When we are together we discuss everything from art and religion, to old boyfriends, girlfriends and our humungous 80’s hairstyles. While i have other incredibly dear friends, these special friends… are my family. They connect me to my childhood, my youth, my home.
We are different from each other in many ways, but i have always thought we are alike in all of the ways that matter. My friends are insanely gorgeous and talented, and i am average… but they always make me feel smart and beautiful. Some of them live in much sexier homes and cities…but they never makes me feel inferior. I have never felt like i am as good of a friend to them as they have been to me. But they have never punished me for it or tried to change me in any way. They except and show unconditional love for me through every dorky, dark, awkward, bitchy, quirky, ugly, lazy, crabby, clumsy moment i have ever had.
They are more than BFF’s. Much more.
This poem (if we can call it that) was written from a kayak floating on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire. It was less than a year from my diagnosis, chemo was finally over – and I never felt this good in my life as I did that day. It was the day I woke up, opened my eyes, and realized I was going to survive. I made it through, and the loveliest light was just through the door… i just had to push it open, put my chin up, and walk through.
I crawled out of bed that morning at the lake house, before anyone else was up, heaved a kayak into the water and pushed off the dock with my bare foot. The sun was just about to make its debut for the day. I quietly paddled and listened and smiled. Across the lake, overcome by exhaustion, I found a tiny cove, dripping in the most beautiful morning sunlight, framed by a homely little bridge… ‘oh, and you wouldn’t go in??’.
While I floated amongst the ducks, and birds, and dragonflies, and gazed in awe of the beauty i found here – i had thoughts of nature, and how rarely i stop to enjoy it. I also had thoughts of my dearest family and friends…the people who i could not have done it without. Often so much time passes in between phone calls, and visits… living such separate lives, babies arriving, and children having grown so much. But when we do stop to visit, and listen, and smile, it is magical. We laugh the biggest belly laughs, and cry the most vulnerable tears, and replay our youth with angst and delight. We revisit decades of memories, good and bad. In recent years I am doubly blessed to know many of they’re sweet children, which makes it much easier as I say goodbye to the dream of my own.
It was very difficult to leave that cove, and return back to shore that day. But every lovely visit must come to an end. I quietly paddled back to lake house… feeling strength, hope, and and happy thoughts of dear friends.
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~marcel proust