What Others Are Doing

She always knew where he was, she realized; which made her think of how important it was for us to know what others are doing. When we met friends, for instance, and asked them what they had been doing, we really did want to know. But why? It was, she thought, because of our sense of being with others; our need to anchor ourselves in a network of friends and acquaintances.
— Alexander McCall Smith, The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

My life feels rich in friendship at present. This season that is hard in other ways has not blinded me to the fact that I am not alone. I got a text from a friend out of the blue last Thursday night while in Target on a date with TJ. An encouraging word was spoken about my writing, and I felt buoyed. Another friend texted soon after to say similar words and I gratefully took comfort when comfort was given.

How blessed I feel by the friends in my life and how they care for me. I want to offer comfort and kindness to my friends as well, to be interested in their interesting little lives. Our hearts will expand in heaven to take it all in, to see every piece clearly, but for now, we get to practice zooming in to the lives of just a few. What a wonder and privilege to wait for the ones God brings us, and then to find connections that draw us in again and again. 

I have a new friend, one whom I want to know all about at once. But the fun is in the unfolding. It's always takes longer to talk when kids fill the spaces around us, but that is part of the real story and our stories are our lives.

Gretchen Rubin said, "We often learn most about ourselves by learning about other people," so this business of friendship is Ginger 101. What you, my friend, are like or not like inspires me and pushes me and calms me down. I won't name names, but Thank You, Dear Friends.

And now, during this little bit of quiet time, as Sailor naps and I write, I wonder what my friends are doing with their quiet moments (if they even get a quiet moment today): What fills your cup, keeps you sane, lifts you up, speaks your name?  What's for dinner, and what will you do tonight after the kids are in bed? What are you reading? What's your art? Where's your heart? What is hard? What is easy? Tell me, friend, next time I see you because I love your minutiae like I love my own.

May what I do in friendship ease burdens and bring blessings. May the words and quotes and loves my life is built on build others' lives as well. May we be anchors for one another on earth and friends forever in heaven.