Saturday, June 21, 2008

clouds and pines

This photo was taken just after 9 PM, just before sunset. That's what I love about living just above 46 degrees north latitude; I wake up just after sunrise, and when I go to bed there's a little bit of light lingering in the Western sky.

We had a few scattered showers moving through here tonight, hence the clouds. The rain didn't amount to more than a few drops, but the clouds and rainbows were spectacular.

Today I had to work, but it was actually a good experience. I went to a lake association meeting to talk about fish stuff, and a new long term monitoring project we have, which includes one of the lakes of interest. Here in Minnesota, lakeshore property owners have gotten together to form associations, which do everything from organize Fourth of July boat parades to doing some serious fundraising for watershed improvement projects. I really enjoyed the perspective of this lake association, although the gap between talk and action still remains huge. At least their hearts are in the right place.

On the way home, I stopped in the city park in the town where I lived until nine years ago. I got out my cell phone and called an old friend I hadn't talked with in years, who used to live in this town with me and now lives in the country a few miles north. I don't know why I felt so compelled to call her today, but I am so glad I did. We talked like the neighbors we used to be, as if time and distance had never separated us. We met her and her husband because we admired her garden as we went on walks through our semi-rural subdivision next to the freeway. Gardening was an instant bond between us, and as our friendship developed we found out we shared some common musical interests; she played fiddle and her husband played guitar and banjo. The Hermit was learning guitar then, and I had just discovered mandolin. We spent many hours playing together on banjo and fiddle, mandolin and guitar. Today I would give anything for a neighbor down the road who could share a tune or two.

We went on to share many wonderful times, including becoming pregnant and giving birth within a month of each other. Our friends had all but given up hope of having a child of their own, and were on the verge of adoption when it happened. They adopted, and had a child. And went on to have another child. So now we each have three wonderful children.

Then life changed, we moved away, and for a long time I just thought something was missing. I think I finally know the answer to what was missing. And I am glad that we will probably be getting together soon!

I guess I had forgotten how much this friendship meant to me, and I regret that. I like where we live now, but the bonds of friendship have been somehow more difficult to forge. But tonight we went to the grocery store for a few things (spending over $80 in the end), and met up with a couple we knew from church, and chatted in the aisle for a long time. And we also ran into the band director/kindergarten music teacher/piano teacher. So maybe community can still happen.

8 comments:

LauraHinNJ said...

Deb- I was in North Dakota a couple weeks ago (birding!) and so loved the late sunsets - the twilight lingered until after 10 pm. Such wonderful, long days.

I have a few friends I need to catch up with, too, and wonder why I don't make time for that more often. It always feels so nice when I do.

Jayne said...

It certainly does take some effort to maintain relationships when we are all so busy these days. Glad you were able to reconnect with someone who you found you missed a good bit. That's a good feeling.

pablo said...

I just recently heard from a friend I had lost contact with more than 20 years ago. He found my name on the internet and made contact. Except for the gray hair, he still looks the same.

jan m said...

We used to live in a close-knit community where neighbor helped neighbor, and I really miss that.

Deb said...

LauraH- I''m glad you had a good time in North Dakota! The prairie birds would be great there.

Jayne- It was a huge effort. My thoughts were: "Excuse me, who are you?" Her thoughts were: "Deb, I'm so glad to hear from you! We were just thinking about you!"

Pablo- I'm glad you reconnected with someone. The Internet can be great that way.

Jan M- Although it was a thrown-together, freeway border community, I still miss the togetherness we had. I miss looking out my kitchen window and seeing Putz (my friend's husband) playing air banjo. Now that was cool!

Heidi said...

Ah, I noticed those clouds, too. I was at a concert featuring an old classmate who was visiting from Oregon.

Old friends are precious. New ones are wonderful, too. I'm ashamed that I feel it takes so much effort to make new friends, and it keeps me from trying, more often than not.

Deb said...

Heidi- I read the article about her in the Askov American. Sounds like she's had a good musical career!

I know what you mean about the effort it takes. I sit in the stands at Mr. Attitude's T-ball games, thinking I should be joining in the conversation instead of just eavesdropping, making the effort to make connections. But so many people just seem so shallow, it hardly seems worth the effort. Not to write everyone off, that's just how it is for me.

Jim said...

Beautiful shot Deb...