Saturday, August 22, 2009

Only Three Things

We sat around the kitchen counter with a small circle of people last night who have been part of our lives for more than 20 years. We've celebrated births and ballgames and barbeque with these friends. We've grieved the loss of jobs, parents, siblings, and a child standing hand in hand. We have pondered the presence of God and the absence of justice in the world inside these safe and sacred friendships. Our stories are warp and weft to one another's. When the weaving of these threads of Life...some dazzlingly colorful, some irritatingly nubby, some worn to a shine...begins, the Fabric that emerges is always something to behold. Once or twice during the evening, I zoomed out of the moment to observe, with gratitude, the wonder of long friendship. Money cannot buy this, is what I was thinking. The occasion of our reunion last night was the delivery of one of "our" babies to college. We spent, of course, no small amount of time telling the University of Texas freshman all about the day she was born, the first time we saw her with a sunburn, and the cute way she memorized books to make us think she was reading. Money cannot buy this kind of kinship. The children we knew as tummy bumps and toddlers and twinkle-toed ballerinas have - right before our very eyes - become doctors and engineers and philosophers and musicians. The young parents we were, struggling to navigate careers and potty training and trouble with in-laws have become observers and counselors and funders of dreams. We are in it together. Growing older in the company of friends. Passing the future to children we have helped raise. Looking ahead with hope and great shared joy. Money cannot buy this kind of health insurance. I woke up humming a Guy Clark tune this morning - Homegrown Tomatoes. Here's the refrain of the song, if you don't know it:
Only two things money can't buy... That's true love And homegrown tomatoes
And one more thing, Guy- friends like these... Peace.

1 comment:

jo ann said...

Amen, and A-MEN. Thanks for being the magnet that continues to pull us together.