We were in the midst of another bizarre spring snowstorm when my friend Sara and I got together for our monthly knitting date. These regular knit dates are about more than knitting, though. In this day-and-age of busy-ness, it seems there are fewer daily human touch points with favorite people. I’ve learned that if I ‘wait for a good time’, just like waiting for creative inspiration to work on my novel, it will never happen. I don’t know what it is about being older, but time seems to just fly by. I value the friendships maintained over years and enjoy cultivating new ones. If I don’t pay them special attention, though, time will pass and before long the threads of connection may fray and become broken. So every time Sara and I get together for knitting, tea, and conversation that gently rambles from work to family to deciphering a complicated knitting sequence, we always close a visit with our respective calendars open on our laps as we settle on the date for our next get-together.
Monthly phone dates keep friendship fresh and current with my dear friend who lives a day’s drive away in western New York. She’s the mother of a toddler whereas my son is grown and out on his own. It would be so easy for common ground to get lost, were were we not to attend to it. With each phone call I am reminded of how much I enjoy and value her friendship; I wish she lived closer but am grateful that we are staying in touch in spite of the distance. And I’m about to email another longtime, long-distance friend to set up our regular summer visit in the Catskills (Dean, are you reading this?).
There’s a line from an old Ann Landers column that goes something like this: I’ve never heard of anyone who on their deathbed wished that they’d spent more time at the office. A friend offered me a challenge along these lines recently. It involved projecting forward and reflecting on what one hopes to accomplish in their lifetime. Like the little gardens I’ve planted in all of the places I’ve lived over the years, I value cultivating the seeds of friendship both near and far.