Monday, August 4, 2008
I spent the weekend at the beach, about 10 miles south of Newport, with a long-time friend I went to physical therapy school with.
There were 30 in our class. When we graduated I worked for a year in Long Beach in southern California. I lived in a household with 2 other women, 3 blocks from the beach. I had taken Serena's place; when she moved out I moved in.
The house didn't look quite this tricked out when I lived there in late 1978--1979. But it was a very happy time in my life.
I moved to Portland in late 1979. A few years later I was delighted when Serena moved up too, then with a husband and her 4 year old girl, and an infant daughter. When her husband finished medical school they moved out to the coast.
Serena is one of those people that I naturally gravitated toward. She is someone whose presence is restful, and I always feel inspired around her. In her presence ideas are catalyzed that nudge me toward the "getting warmer" feeling.
No matter how much time goes by this is the way it is with Serena.
I hadn't seen her in at least 12 years. And it was the same.
She'd had to leave to tend to her mother, so I arrived to a note and an unlocked door. I'm glad the house was empty, so I got to take in her surroundings. I think of her place as being an extension of herself--just her generosity of spirit overflowing and filling her house and then overflowing into her garden. The house was filled with light from the skylights, plants, and art. No matter where I looked my eye fell on something beautiful and intriguing. It was completely still, the quiet broken only by the scales of the wind chimes. I followed their sound to the back patio. I'd removed my shoes when I came in, but found a pair of thongs, so I put them on to walk the path that led through the many island beds she'd planted.
It was so beautiful I wanted to cry.
When she came home we walked on the beach. We talked for hours, awakening the next day to converse some more. Did I mention that I always feel enriched and replenished when we talk?
It was very hard to leave this space.
It is rare that I find it as replenishing to be in the company of another as I find in being alone.