Looking up from my book, I watched a humming bird buzz the pool. A bright orange dragonfly darted after it. I listened to the quiet, a different quiet from a morning at home. No dog snoring gently, no cars on the street outside. The pool filter hummed on and off. Birds swooped and called as they dashed from fence post to cactus.
Still on East Coast time, I woke early in Tucson. While my friends still slept, I sat out on the patio in the still cool morning sipping coffee, reading a bit, daydreaming. It was delightful. It was restorative. And it wasn’t the best part of the weekend.
As the sun rose higher and the temps soared, my friends came out one by one. A short run. Some yoga. Some lazing. We each did our own thing before breakfast. I made the omelet. Aimee started the bacon. Jen flipped pancakes. Heather and Jemma carried plates and silverware out to the shaded seats on the patio.
I met these women 21 years ago, give or take a couple of weeks, when luck put us in the same dorm during our first year of college. I saw two of these women briefly last year after a long hiatus, but the other two? It’s been nine years in one case, eleven in the other. And in all cases, it’s been no time. Old friends are like that.
We settled into conversations that were years of catching up without feeling like recap. We talked relationships and kids and work. We remembered who we were and figured out who we are.
I’ve been looking forward to this trip all summer, because I needed a break and I was excited to see these friends. I didn’t realize how much I needed to see them.
Being with old friends reconnected me to parts of myself that I had forgotten. I came back refreshed from a full night’s sleep and the quiet mornings by the pool. I came back refilled from the conversations poolside and around the dinner table. I came back refilled by laughter and hugs and knowing these people know me, the Sara I was 20+ years ago, the Sara I’ve been since, the Sara I am now.
Reconnect with an old friend today. Call them, message them, write them. Reconnect with an old friend and see what else you connect with.
I love letters. I have a big box of them in my attic from my parents and grandparents, sisters and friends.
I remember the excitement of finding a personally addressed envelope in my mailbox at college and the joy of finding one in the perpetually locked mailbox at my apartment in Italy where we had to fish them out with a wire coat hanger. They came in thin red and blue edged air mail envelopes and business sized envelopes and homemade envelopes folded from magazine pages.
I don’t get many letters these days. I don’t write that many either. But recently, I’ve been reading letters for research, and it reminded me how much I love letters, how different they are from Facebook posts or even usually email. So I wrote a letter about the weather and memories and what I’m reading and dreams.
I wrote to a friend who shared some writing with me last fall during my Abundance retreat. I love what I learned about the texture of her days from that shared writing. I want to know and share that texture.
I want to know how you feel when you look at your brand new baby or at your big one who’s starting to drive. I want to know what the piles of snow (or the flowers starting to bloom) look like outside your window. I want to know I’m not alone (you aren’t either).
I want to swap the old stories and remember who we were (are we still those people?). I want to share new ones and see who we are now and what our lives look like—not the holiday card round up, but the day to day life.
As I wrote my letter, the sky was winter white. When I went out, I was excited to wear shoes instead of boots and surprised that I didn’t need a coat. As I drove home, though, snow spit and swirled. It’s a confused time of year.
That energy I talked about last week is flowing, but sometimes I can’t figure out the direction. But tonight for a moment, I didn’t need a direction. For a moment, both my girls snuggled in beside me, clean and in jammies, and I read to them from Farmer Boy, a book I read over and over all through my childhood. They were cranky, we were running late for bed, but for that moment we were still and shared that story.
Write a Letter. Share a piece of your story. Take few minutes to write a letter to a friend. Share something about your life, your day to day, your dreams.
What’s going on in your life today?
You don’t have to write me a letter, but share in comments a moment or detail that stuck with you today.
And if you love connecting through writing and are ready to capture more of your story—the day to day, the big stuff—I’d love to have you join me in April for the Grow retreat.