In several weeks I will have the joy of being with some friends in Florida, time spent with whom is among the best balm my soul ever gets. I need that time desperately. But those occasions are too infrequent to sustain me through the ordinary, everyday need to pour out frustrations or ponder questions that emerge as I bump up against life's challenges and encouragements. Most of my closest friends are at a distance, and those who are nearer have commitments and schedules that make it difficult to find time to spend together. It seems harder and harder to be there for one another when the chips are down, or even to know when there is a need. A year ago a very dear friend was in real trouble, and though I had the time and could get to her easily, I didn't even know that she needed me.
I miss my friends. I miss being there to listen to what weighs on their hearts and colors their days. I miss the sound of their laughter and the animation of their gestures. I miss their hugs. I need to find a way to alter how I engage life so that what matters most, the relationships I value and desire, can be more central to each and every one of my days.
Here is to you all. Blessings and thanksgivings to you for being light and balm to me.