Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A day at the beach, and a surprise

I took a day off earlier this week, and went to the beach with one of my dearest friends, who dates back to college. The last time we were there together was the summer of 1977, another hot one right before I left town for grad school. I'm sure we were a picture, among the thong-bikini-clad high-school girls: two women, well into middle age, wading in the surf in their shorts. Oh well, youth fades, but friendships remain.

And I learned something I hadn't counted on. My friend has known for years how involved I am at church, but she's a former Catholic, and I haven't wanted to go overboard talking about religion. But we did start talking about it on the way home, and I told her about my association with the Order of Julian of Norwich, and how much it has meant to me to find a group of like-minded people. I also told her about this blog, and that I'd started it because I had no one at home with whom I could discuss religion.

"I haven't got anyone either," she said. Turns out she tries to read some of the Bible every day. and it also seems that her husband, like mine, is sort of unsympathetic to religion.

So on we rode, with the corn and alfalfa fields of southern Delaware opening out broadly on either side of the highway while the clouds threatened rain, and I felt so awful that I had not known this about my own nearest and dearest. I know in my head that most people are seeking God in some way or other, but I didn't know she was -- because I didn't ask.

"After all," she said, after a bit more talk, "If you thought this is all there is, how could you go on?"

How, indeed? I guess we will have a lot to talk about from now on. We need to make up for lost time.

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