Yesterday I wrote about the first part of our Autumn holiday.
Today is about the more significant body of our time away - time that we spent with friends.
Friends at times seem to come unexpectedly into our lives. Like the best unexpected gift arriving in the mail - as you take off the wrapping you capture glimpses of colour or shape but what is found inside is utterly surprising and perfectly suited to what is exciting you right now.
My dear friend A. is one of those gifts.
We met three years back at a camp held for families interested in natural learning. I drove a long way, not really knowing what I would find. I was a little nervous. I don't always know how to make connections with new people. My personality is generally warm and friendly and I am mostly brave when it comes to being in circumstances outside my comfort zone - I feel ok with being alone in a group - but sometimes I just don't really know what to say to people.
I think this is a common feeling.
I remember A. as busy with three young children and friends she already knew.
I also remember her directness and her inquisitive questions and immediately feeling at ease with her. I relax with people who are warm but also direct - I open up and trust what I see.
She spoke with the same warmth and clarity with her children, and mine.
She wasn't put off by the rain when we went for a walk with the children.
Her girls loved the dress ups we had brought and played with Ruby and Sky for hours.
Now she is a close friend.
We boated and swam and picked blueberries and cleared gorse and crafted dolls for the girls.
She fed us wonderful food.
The girls played.
With her I get to deeply share the joys and challenges of living fully right now with our children.
We can dream big, love deep and laugh out loud.
Doesn't friendship just fill you up and feel so good ..... and then have you missing them when it is time to return home.