Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Kindred Spirits

A few years ago, I was introduced to a friend of a friend. To paraphrase a much used saying,  any friend of Terri's is a friend of mine. I haven't figured out yet about online friendships. It seems odd that relationships can grow and flourish when people have never met in person. Never having met … could it that be the reason online friends are friend? Because the obscurity of the Internet prevents people from getting to know the "real" person.  But the opposite could be true also, don't you think? The fact that you many never meet an online friend may give you more freedom to be the "real" person you are without fear of judgement.

From the start my friendship with Terri St. Cloud was special. A petite woman in a "woo woo" store told me about bonesigh arts. She also told me about Tibetan bell massages. She didn't steer me wrong in either case. Bella was the fairy's name.  I call her that because after that day, she kind of disappeared, from me and Terri. I've wondered more than once if she was real, or if the whole experience was something I'd see on Touched by an Angel.

Terri could be described the hub of my Internet relationships. Beautiful, creative, spiritual, funny, kind and caring women have touched my life like spokes of a wheel. Dani, Po, Star-bathed Sue, Susan, Akasa, Diane and Sorrow comprise for me a circle of women whom I can lean on and share with.

Early on Sorrow and I became pen pals. Two souls who appreciate fine stationery, colored ink, and pretty stamps. Despite the ease of email,  Sorrow and I immediately felt the kindred spirit that one gets from sharing thoughts on paper, then sending them off through the air (thanks to the postal service) knowing the person receiving them will anxiously rip open the envelope to let the words fly free. What's better than receiving a letter or card, smelling of lavender and filled with glitter? What's sweeter than holding that letter close to your chest inhaling, not just the smell but the warmth and spirit of the writer.

Sorrow is a mother, daughter, teacher, potter, stained glass maker, quilter, painter, baker, writer, and photographer, to name a few. We are "Cohorts in Cahoots" making quilts for people who need to be reminded of how special they are. I await the day when I can a)walk the labyrinth in her back yard, b) eat some of her Christmas cookies, and c)watch as she magically turns wet clay into art. Until last month meeting Sorrow in person was at the top of that list.

When Sweetie and I were planning our trip to VA for Robert's graduation, there two side trips I wanted to take. One to Maryland to meet Terri and the other to VA to meet Sorrow. As it turned out we could only do one.  Sorrow picked a small bistro in Petersburg, VA almost equidistant from where I was staying. I needed to get home to prepare for a week of visitors, but I wasn't going to let anything, let alone 2 hours, keep me from meeting my Cohort.

We followed the GPS into Petersburg which has been around since some of Virginia's earliest days. As we rounded a corner, there on the corner was a quaint gray building with while doors and shutters that looked out of place next to brick buildings that had seen better days.

"Arriving at your destination," the man in the GPS repeated until we shut off the engine. But I already knew that, because I had barely stepped out of the car when a woman I'd never seen before but knew on a heart level was embracing me in what can only be called a bear hug. OMG.

Laugh, laugh.
Hug, hug,
Laugh, laugh.
Talk, talk, talk as we made introductions and headed inside the restaurant. A quiet place with linen table clothes, glasses dripping with ice cold water, and a waiter standing by with menu suggestions. We ordered and we ate, but mostly talked for two hours. Patient as ever, Sweetie would wait for us to catch our collective breaths then pepper Sorrow with more questions. Although we'd never met before, I felt like I was having a reunion with someone I'd known forever. Did I mention Sorrow's huge smile and ready laugh?

So there we were talking away, and suddenly I was moved to tears when John Denver's voice filled room. "You fill up my senses," he sang, "like a night in the forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain …….." Sitting at the table with my Sweetie and Sorrow engaged in conversation about bees, I felt my senses overflowing. Only the Great Music Director in the Sky could have picked a better soundtrack for this afternoon. Sorrow touched my shoulder, Sweetie nodded his understanding while I took it all in. 

Birkenstock sisters
Before we knew it, the clock neared the hour when we needed to get back on the road. We dragged our feet, but made our way across the street to say our goodbyes. Gift-filled goodbyes. Sorrow handed me a box full of handmade pottery, soap, and honey from her own bees. With an eye towards future projects I gave her a role of quilt batting. It does seem like the scales tipped in my favor, doesn't it? In my defense, a quilter can never have too much batting. I knew it needed a better home than the one I was providing in my dark must closet. 

Goodbyes are never easy for me. But as I learned from Robert (see post below) "saying goodbye makes saying hello again that much sweeter." 

I heard a Rabbi say once, that joy shared is doubled, sorrow shared is lessened. On a summer's day in June, I discovered that when Sorrow is accompanied by laughter, sharing, and hugging, only joy can come from it. 

If you want to know more about this fantastic woman I call friend, visit her blog at http://light4leaves.wordpress.com.

“True friendship is seen through the heart, not through the eyes.”
Merry ME


Anonymous said...

I want you to know that the the 2 moments I treasure most from being in your grace, was the hug you gave me, because nothing in the world feels better than when you hug some one, and they hug you back even tighter.
And the dialog that I was witness to between you and sweetie. The way you both speak your hearts on matters and give each other the room, love and support to do so. That was love, shining and I was so blessed by it.
I am smiling even now to think on it.
My dearest Cohort, You are one of the best treasures this web world has given me!

terri st. cloud said...

how cool is this?! just how cool is this?! smilin' big and thinking that musta been one awesome hug that happened!

Heather LeFebvre said...

Hi!!! Loved getting your postcard and if that wasn't enough, your letter in the mail later on!! Thanks so much!!!

AkasaWolfSong said...

Okay Sister...I've read this twice and each time the tears pool up and spill over in my eyes and all the while I'm smiling!!!

You lucky, lucky girls...my heart fairly swoons for you both....oh to have been here with both of you...*sigh.*

Finally got a better computer so now I can start posting again...just wanted to stop in and leave you a big hug and I'm so glad I did!!!

Sending lots o'love and big hugs,