“A single conversation across the table with a wise person is worth a month’s study of books.” – Chinese proverb
Saturday, May 17th
Saturday was filled with new conversations with people I have not taken the opportunity to have longer talks with before…and it was awesome!
I played hookie from my family all day, and I didn’t start out looking forward to it. I had an obligation to join a work party followed by a birthday celebration for two neighbors. The PTSA Board from my daughter’s school (of which I am a member) was “rented” as part of our annual fundraising auction, and the winner had planned to have us paint the interior of her house and landscape her yard. I opted for the outdoor work, and joined the Treasurer and Secretary in pulling weeds around the raspberries. There is something eased in conversation when all parties are working on something together. It’s like getting a haircut or your teeth cleaned; you are a captive audience and the focus is external.
On Beds #1 and #2, we covered skin cancer, hearing aids, adoption, miscarriage, and public drunkenness. By Bed #3, there was sod to be turned so we went straight to the issues of life and death. We all agreed that we had grown to know one another much better by working on something other than a meeting. And boy howdy, a whole lot of inappropriate things could be said without our kids around.
I didn’t expect that I would have any energy left over to attend the 60th and 70th combined birthday celebration for my dear neighbor women. I showered and got the family into the car for a grocery shopping adventure. We got home with enough minutes for me to pack a watermelon, a knife, and a plate and hitch a ride with one of the carpools. It started raining precisely as we were gathering to walk to the cars, but by time we reached the beach it was all sun and blue skies.
We are a diverse group of inter-generational women, and now that I’ve known these friends for almost three years I’ve come to trust them deeply. I had a conversation with the 30-year-old boarder from Japan and my 60-something neighbor that flowed from family dynamics to karaoke to funeral rites. When we circled up, we cleaved again into two groups of 8 or so women – my group tackled the lessons we’ve learned at our different ages and it was full of rich and vital insights. I felt something both stirring and beaming inside of me while holding this women’s space together, and it was a lovely bonding experience.
These sort of days remind me of how truly blessed I am to be surrounded by committed, interesting, and lovely people.
When do you have the best conversations?