Friday, November 6, 2015
A Kindred Visit
A magazine brought us together - Victoria. Our love of home and family found us both on a Victoria-related site, where we "met". Soon I realized by reading her posts, that we had very much in common. I reached out to her on the day I received a mean-spirited letter from my former mother-in-law who chose to contact me suddenly after nearly twenty years. I sent a personal email and lucky for me, my friend, who just happened to be at her office on a Saturday morning to retrieve eyeglasses, logged onto her work computer and read it right away. She called and together we determined that the unwelcome letter needed to be destroyed. But it was the balm of her solace and comfort that broke the spell that threatened to ruin my weekend. And thus began our daily emails and soon-to-be regular visits.
Our first meeting took place at Penn Station in New York City on the day we had lunch with Victoria's founding editor. I recognized my friend immediately and while we trawled the subway that day, sitting shoulder to shoulder, I felt I had come home to something. We could not stop talking, sharing, nodding in understanding, and as she sat with me later, waiting for my train home, my mind raced ahead to other potential visits. I asked her to sign my new journal before we hugged goodbye.
So two weeks ago, I trekked to her neck of the woods again on a beautiful fall day filled with light and color. I was anxious to see the improvements she made on her home, hear her sing in her church's choir, and meet another friend of hers. We also did a little bit of shopping which was great fun. And although it was only to the local mall, I imagined we two with baskets on our arms strolling a charming outdoor Christmas market, just like I saw in Victoria magazine years ago.
Time together always include fashion talks and so topics like new winter coats, ways to make leggings chic, and finding good cashmere were all discussed at length. I also received a recommendation for an amazing shampoo that I would never have found on my own. We cooked together and banged around her house reading vintage Seventeen magazines and watching old movies like sisters. Tea figured prominently. And hopes for our children...our joys...our fears. A few fears.
This kindred visit gave me a present - a soul reboot. As I made my way home alone, driving through the paved hollows of endless red and gold burnished hills, I couldn't even listen to the radio - my mind, so filled with new things and plans, craved room to expand. I felt grateful to have someone in my life who cares equally about my past, my present, and my future. And in the long quiet miles, I came to see that a kindred friendship is a sheltering tree.