My 2023 has already been full of time spent with people I love and who love me. Long-time friends or new ones, they bring comfort and healing into my life. A funny meme. An encouraging text. A dinner in or a meetup for coffee out. Long conversations and walks at the park. I see more clearly than ever how my friends have been and are a source of deep love, encouragement, joy, and connection.
Last week a friend called to ask if she could “retreat” here for a couple of days. I was elated. She had the house to herself while I worked at the office. But when I wasn’t at the office, we enjoyed coffee in the sunroom, rich conversation, a morning walk, and dinner together. It was as much a treat for me as I hope it was a retreat for her.
I was delighted to find this on the counter when I returned home the last day she was here. On one of her paintings, she wrote out a beautiful poem she found by John O’Donahue and left it for me. I love it!
A week later another friend texted me a poem that made her think of me. This simple expression of her noticing something about me in the poem and letting me know touched something deep inside that “space so great.” (poem reference below) The poem partially conveys my great love of the outdoors.
In both ways my friends reached out – I felt overwhelmingly known and loved. My friends have been doing that a lot lately in a variety of ways and I am thankful.
Friends are one way God loves us.
Getting Outby Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Sometimes there is inside me
a space so great
my body takes itself outside—
as if the house is too restricting,
as if this inner space must be met by something vast as field,
boundless as sky, immeasurable as interstellar space.
If it is storming, so much the better.
If rain races down the face and saturates the clothes, this is right.
If wind rips at my hair
or snow stings my cheeks
or lightning makes my hairs stand on end,
it only serves the aliveness.
If it is warm and still, the inner space expands
into the warm and still.
There are feelings too immense for four walls,
too intense to be trapped in the skin,
sensations that rhyme with the cosmos,
moments when we start to grasp
what we are made of—
more energy than matter,
more nothing than something,
more everything than we ever dreamed.