This is quite unusual. Earlier, I startled awake having dreamed of writing my post with a title already in place. I accept the fact that it’s not extraordinary for a writer to dream of words. Often during my “sleep state” I see them dancing in pairs to a beautiful waltz. Polished wooden instruments are playing among a full orchestra down in the pit shining under stage lights. The scene and sound within my sleeping mind may go on the whole night through.
This is different, though. In the darkness of my bedroom last night, I slept like a baby in a big crib. It’s only when my eyes popped open this morning that I was startled so. There was this title, “The Friendship Ring,” milling about as I slid cozy blue cozy slippers upon my feet. Rarely do I ever title a post until I’m finished writing it. It’s just the way I work. The simple and true fact is that I never know where the keyboard will take me until I’m finished. Today, I’m working in reverse. It’s a surprise for you and me! Let’s see where we go ….
Last night a holiday party was held in the neighborhood where I caught up with friends I haven’t seen in a while together with others I’ve never met before. My neighbor’s house was decorated beautifully,like a picture postcard ripped from the pages of “Better Homes and Gardens.” Trees were lit in every room, berried wreaths were hung on colored papered walls, and reindeer pranced down snowy table runners sprinkled with Christmas colored diamonds.
As I went from room to room, “oohing and ahhing” at the most magnificent decorations, I was stopped by a middle-aged couple from down south; Baton Rouge, Louisiana to be exact. They were visiting the host who they had known for years and years. The gentleman had a slight drawl, the kind I caught only at the end of certain words or phrases when he spoke. His head was thick with hair the color of salt and pepper grey, and he wore a long-sleeved red woolen shirt. Taking my cold slender hand, he warmed it when he shook it jolly, like Santa would.
His wife was different, yet similar. They were a nice complement to one another, I could tell. She was dressed in festive slacks and a fuchsia silken blouse, loosely draped at the neck. The moment she smiled her warmth radiated like I’d known her all of my life. We shook hands politely and introduced ourselves. Then we talked for what seemed like hours. In fact it was. It felt like we’d been friends for years or maybe more.
They loved my stories of writing, something they dabbled in, while I was enthralled by their tales of travel. They could “pick up and go” whenever it fancied them so. At one time, their eyes widened in horror listening to my snowy weekend weather report. “Can it really be that bad?” At the same time, they mused of “balmy blue seas, tropical temperatures, and crepe myrtle full of buzzing bees.”
When it became apparent that the party was near its end (almost everyone had left by then) we exchanged addresses, e-mails, and promised to “stay in touch.” The three of us said our “good-by’s,” before walking into the cold and snowy night.
For me, the party was a great success. My neighbor’s house was a holiday card of beauty incomparable. The food and drink were better than any restaurant could have served. It was a pleasure to see my friends and other neighbors: to talk and laugh and have some fun. The biggest surprise of the evening was the gift of new friends. I learned so very much from couple I met last night. They taught me about their culture, their love of nature and their freedom. I felt their warmth, and their love of spirit.
This new day I have two new friends who live way down south in another state. It is a long ride down river away from me. Yet, I will always remember them and hopefully they will always remember me.