I finished loading clean, wet clothes to the dryer, the phone cradled between shoulder and ear, and smile with realization that my afternoon just got much, much better.
"Stacey! Oh my gosh -- it's so good to hear from you!"
When I say it's been ages, I don't exaggerate -- it's been almost two, actually.
As we talk, I upload from the camera the pictures I took last weekend of the roses beginning to bloom on the side of our house.
A previous homeowner planted the row of roses. I've always been a little leery of roses, thinking they are hard to grow. But I've found that's not always the case.
One particular bush is twice as large as the others and has threatened to take over that entire side of our home. We've chopped it to the ground more than once and gingerly rid ourselves of its prunings. But each Spring it returns in all its bold, persevering stature.
It blossoms even now despite neglect, abuse, and lack of cultivation. It blooms because of years worth of past time, attention and healthy growth.
Stacey and I dig up a long history of friendship-seed planted long ago and converse with heart communion, sharing life and work and children and blessing.
I cut the blooms as we speak, gathering them to the table to stand in their proud beauty. Their fragrance fills my kitchen as an old friendship saturates my soul deep.
The friendship cultivated in childhood can't help but bloom anew. Old roots with long history are not so easily choked by crowding grown-up responsibilities and distance neglect. And age-old friendship, never outgrown, eventually blooms into one of life's richest treasures.
1~ roses that illustrate God's breathtaking creation wonder
2~reaping the harvest of someone else's labor
3~ yellow enveloped by faintly whispered pink edges
4~ sunny springtime afternoons changed in a moment
5~ a long history with one so loved
6~ tiptoeing barefoot through flowerbed mulch, scissors in hand
7~ breakfast table beautifully adorned
8~ crystal vase carrying God's handiwork
9~ childhood friendship that blooms into lifelong fragrant beauty