Seventh annual


Saturday night sunset on Chappaquiddick

This past weekend I was with my native speakers.  It was our seventh annual weekend gathering (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 – not sure how I missed 2011).

This year we were a smaller band than usual, and it was hard not to notice the ways that life’s demands kept many away.  We are in The Middle Place, there’s no question about that. In the past year we’ve celebrated christenings and sat at the bedsides of ailing parents.  We’ve watched children be born and turn into teenagers.  We are reckoning with work challenges and what marriage looks like after 10 years and who we are.

We have reached the top of life’s ferris wheel.  The view is spectacular, but we know the trip down will be too fast.

We’re walking together – what an outrageous blessing it is to write the word together, I know that – into the early afternoon of life.  As I drove Grace and Whit to school on Friday morning, before heading to the airport to pick up a couple of friends who were flying in, they wanted to know more about who was coming.  I described each person, all of whom are familiar to my children (what a pleasure that is!), and then said to them that I hoped in their life they made friends that they’d make a point of seeing every year.  I didn’t expect the tears that filled my voice and eyes as I said that.  It’s true, though: one of the many wishes I have for Grace and Whit, and one of the fiercest, is that they meet friends like the ones I’ve been lucky enough to make. People who will answer their texts and calls, laugh and cry with them, people who will show up.

I’ve written before and I’ll write again that these friends are the ones who knew me as I was becoming who I am.  We are part of each others’ lives in an indelible way.  We share a colorful, vivid past, a rich, exhausting, blessed present, and, God willing, a long future. We experienced together some of life’s most formative years.  These women are a part of what shaped and molded me into who I am.

On Saturday night I sat at the top of the bluff outside of our hostess’s house and watched the sun set.  I took the photo above (and many more).  I was struck silent by the spectacular pageant in the sky, but I was also overcome by an immense wave of gratitude. I love our tradition and hope there are a great many more weekends ahead.

4 thoughts on “Seventh annual”

  1. Gorgeous sunset. I also have friends like you describe. We try to see each other at least once a year, but it doesn’t always work out. When we miss a year, it hurts. You’ve inspired me to start making travel plans.

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