Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Strawberry Fields and Friendships and Creativity Freeze

One of the perks of living on the Western side of Portland is being so close to the country. In about 10 minutes I go from Fast Food to Farm Food.

Amy's horseback riding lessons are out in the country. We visit our dear Brady friends
out on the farm. And it's all just a hop skip and a jump from my house. Head the opposite direction and I can be in the posh Downtown Portland drinking shmancy coffee and shopping in equally shmancy boutiques just as fast.

I attended one of the largest four year high schools in Portland. And in the 9th grade I met Claire.

Dedicated, Crazy, Fun, Hardworking, Hilarious, Honest, Claire. She was the girl who took hard classes and got really great grades and had a thriving social life and ran cross country. Without freaking out.

We were inseparable those four years. My parents loved her. My sisters loved her. She fit right in at our home always feeling free to raid the snack drawer, pulling up a chair for dinner then going home only to call me every five minutes.

Two of those years we both suffered major accidents. Together. Each one affected the other in different but equally massive ways. We pulled through and it brought us closer together.

But then, she went away for college, I stayed home and got married.

With that change, as change is oft to do, our friendship pretty much ceased. Although we managed to be in each others' weddings, we missed most of our 20's and the births of our kids. About a decade of life.

Just recently, life has found us back together!

How I've missed her! She still cracks me up.
Her children are adorable. She's excited about my adoption.
We've grown up but have reconnected in a way that feels like we haven't missed a beat.

Thanks, God, for Claire.

Claire and I took the kids strawberry picking today out in the country.

I'm trying to think of some AbFab metaphor or simile about life, friendships and strawberries. But for the life of me I can't think of anything. Zilch. Maybe there isn't one.

I'd love it if anyone could come up with cutesy phrase that combines all of these thoughts together.

There's gotta be something about the seeds of life or fields of friendship
or...well...see, I got nuthin.


Kismet said...

The seeds of friendship are planted in fertile soil of our hearts which ultimately blossom and produce sweet fruit. Whether the garden is tended or neglected, if the roots are solid, a little TLC will nourish the relationship plant and it will once again produce the sweet fruit of friendship.

I heard a quote once that 'the Gardener is never closer to his garden then when he is pruning". Sometimes the distances we experience in friendships are a bit of pruning. It makes the garden more healthy. Most of us think that when God prunes us, He cuts off the sinful and the superficial, the deadwood in our lives. He does do that, but he also cuts off stuff that is alive and successful: a business that is going great, a satisfying relationship, good health. Some of that may get whacked off for greater fruitfulness. It is not just deadwood that goes. God often cuts back good things too, in order to make us healthier. It is not always pleasant, but pruning is absolutely essential for spiritual growth. It is not optional. Remember, God is glorified when we bear “much fruit” (John 15:8), and that requires pruning. We must remember that the loppers are in the hands of our loving God. He knows what he is doing, and he wants what is best for us.

Welcome back the friendship of Claire as a result of the pruning God has done in both of your lives.


Tiffany said...

I know in my own life how important my long term friendships are. Even though we don't get to interact daily, my high school friends are usually the people I feel most "me" around. We have history and they know who I really am.

I am glad for you that you have reconnected with Claire.I hope you spend lots of fun days together this summer!

Michelle said...

I have never traveled to the Pacific Northwest, but I imagine it is just beautiful there. What fun to reconnect with old friends. True friends just seem to pick right back up where you left off!

mer said...

I have some long-term friendships like that, and they've been such a joy and blessing to me! I only get to see them about once a year, but I'm thankful for that time more than you know!

I'm thankful with you for Claire!

Blessed Mama of 4 said...

oh Kismety the wise, what great insight and oh how true. I was just talking with my neighbor today about how strawberry patches that are too crowded don't produce fruit... they need to be pruned, even of healthy vines. I've been pondering on friendships defined the last few weeks, and this is like a sunburst to this subject.

I'm so glad you had fun! What a great day to be out in the fields turning your fingers red.

If you have any berries left - here's something I did for my dd today - mashed one large strawberry in a glass with about 1/2 tsp sugar. Add Milk. YUMMY

christa jean said...

Most poetically beautiful words, Kismet.

It reminds me of a poem that starts by saying...
"Do not fear the cutting knife..."
It is a glorious poem that always makes me cry, but want to trust.

Welcome back, sweet Claire.