We all need friends who will ebb with us and flow with us.
Who will mark out for the weekend, leave the kids with the husbands for 30 hours and meet me in a city by the sea.
We need those TV-watching friends, those its-ok-to-be-silent friends, those hold-hands-while-we-carry-each-other-to-Jesus friends.
We need those friends who have walked the journey and will continue to walk the way with us.
There are times for meeting new friends and for making new laughter, but there are also times for gathering the old and comfortable around us like a sweatshirt that has only gotten softer and more familiar with age.
I hope you don’t think me selfish, but I knew that my soul needed a real-life day or two with an old friend.
Sometimes community looks like a new shiny bicycle with a bell begging to be rung. We make new, interesting friends whose heart-depths are waiting to be explored. We exchange phone numbers and make dates to meet and we wonder at the excitement of a new soul-friends.
Sometimes community looks like the middle life: husbands and children and other mothers at school who need the pages of homework assignments. It looks like cups-of-coffee shared before school lets out at 3:05 and it looks like knees and hearts together while our six-year-olds dance ballet.
And other times community looks like the ease and gentleness of old friendships. It looks like decades buried memories, relaxed laughter and the familiar thought that we’ve-done-this-all-before. It looks like old words shared over new cupcakes and old rhythms set to new music.
So this weekend, my journey took me to a community of two. And I really believe that where two are gathered in community, whether new or old or middle-life, there is Another who also communes.
Did you experience community this weekend? With whom? Do you prefer to be in large groups or in settings of 2 or 3?
All photos in this post by this lovely woman who I’ve journeyed with for almost 20 years.