This past weekend a group of my old (and one new!) friends spent two days taking in the gorgeous display of wildflowers and migrating birds in Adams County, and enjoying much-needed, but too infrequent, time to just "be." We shared good food and good stories. We laughed and cried. We checked each other for ticks. It doesn't get any better than that.On Friday and Saturday night American Woodcocks started their aerial courting displays exactly at 8:45 pm and we watched their silhouettes against a cloudless, dusky sky. Then, right on cue, at 9:15 the Whip-poor-will began his loud (some said, obnoxious) repetitive call in the pines near the deck. After all that...the silence...and brightness of the stars.
During the early morning we took birdwatching hikes on the property at Prairie Pond Woods. Late morning we left for jaunts to local nature preserves to see spring carpets of Trilliums, Violets, Wood Poppies, Bluebells, Jack-in-the-Pulpits and courageous flowers hanging off rough rock faces.
Sometimes nature came to us, as when a flock of 30 Cedar Waxwings congregated in the Persimmon tree so we could watch them dive out for bugs. Or when three Indigo Buntings came to the hanging feeder. Or, in an odd moment, when a Scarlet Tanager left its familiar tall tree tops to perch on a deck chair!
My friends, like nature, are one of my spiritual lifelines. Deep friendships are sacred. Mine give me encouragement, purpose and context. I love the growth I see in them...even though we all acknowledge (and sometimes laugh about) the few things that beset each of us year after year. But my friends extend the grace I need to deal with my humanity. Like the wildflowers and warblers that show up every April, my friends are faithful, reliable and bring me comfort...and a whole lot of joy!
See you next year, you wild women! --Cindy