Old-fashioned, time tested, fragrant. That is what's best in gardens and friendships.
Today, it is friendships that are the focus.
I've always envied a bit, those people who have in mature years, friendships maintained from school days. That, alas, has not been my portion.
Moving much through the years and being a minister's wife made the building of lasting friendships difficult. It takes a brave woman to be the friend of the pastor's wife in the midst of a congregation. It takes care and wisdom on both parts to make the relationship worthwhile and lasting.
It has been my joy to have been given two such friends, each from different locations given years apart. Both are choice and great treasures. Continually.
We have a history shared - the raising of children, then grands, now greats..challenges of church and life..spiritual growth as in 'iron sharpening iron'..of books and gardens..the lot of Life's stuff.
Each of the phases, each of the seasons, has deepened the bond and mutual understanding we share; an amazing, beautiful truth and reality.
Like Dianna Berry to Anne Shirley, we have been and are bosom buddies, kindred spirits. That matters. That matters greatly and is the keystone. And the overarching glory is what we have learned and shared together about the ways and wonders of our Great and Faithful God.
These special ladies in my life are represented in my thinking by the rose and sweet pea. Both these flowers have been in my real gardens since I began gardening. They are always my first choice. But regarding the ladies, the one has always had sweet peas planted by her dear late husband. It was always a contest - who planted their seeds first, who first had blooms.
The other loves roses as I do and has seen to it that I've had lovely David Austens to plant in my recent gardens. A very great gift indeed.
Both of these Treasures, these friends par excellence, in recent days have passed yet another birthday. With those milestones, I'm reminded of the years of joys - sorrows too - that we have shared. I wish great and continued blessings on both their dear heads as well as our continued heart and soul connection.
With all this I offer these words from George Eliot which frame the whole of the perfect friendship:
"O the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person;
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but to pour them all out, just as they are,
chaff and grain together,
knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and then, with the breath of kindness,
blow the rest away."
So to you two remarkable and trustworthy Treasures, Nan and Otis, I offer my thanks and thanksgiving for the gift of your love through the years lasting even when miles have separated us.
We have seen each other through incomparable highs and lows,
through green pastures and desert lands,
through sunny sparkling days and dark nights of the soul,
through laughter and tears manifold.
You have blessed me beyond words.
I love you also beyond words.
Once more I offer my thanks.