As we walked through the garden together, my dear friend and I, we took turns catching each other up on our lives—our joys, recent celebrations, fears, day-to-day struggles and successes. This is what good friends who live on opposite coasts do when they get together.
We were in Atlanta for an annual meeting of our husbands’ company. While the employees met, a group of spouses walked a few blocks away to visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you know how much I love gardens, and this one in particular is one of my happy places.
April is a beautiful time of year to visit the gardens, and there’s a new art installation going in. We got to see workers assembling several glass art pieces as we strolled past (I promise to share more in a future post). I love that there’s always something going on in this place to draw in visitors.
Two and a half years ago, I blogged about some amazing plant sculptures. On this recent visit, I missed them, but as I rounded a corner toward the pond, there she was. A familiar face:
She’s sporting a new hairstyle, red with blond highlights, but I cannot tell you how much it meant to see her there, still letting water flow from her open palm.
The whole weekend brought balm in the seeing of familiar faces, friends flung all over the country getting a chance to sit together, catch up in deeper ways than Facebook allows, and hear each others’ hopes and dreams and challenges. There is simply no social media replacement for getting to tap someone’s shoulder and see the broad smile that breaks out, to sit with lowered voices or heads-thrown-back loud laughter.
For me, it was a booster shot of love that will carry me until the next time I turn a corner and see another familiar face.
Even in the Atlanta airport, as my husband and I opted to walk between concourses instead of taking the train, familiar faces bid me adieu. It felt a little bit like leaving home.
Do you have moments in your year that you get booster shots like these? A gathering of friends from across the country? A visit to one of your happy places? A walk through a garden in bloom? Or perhaps even an airport concourse where someone has put a little effort into adding in something beautiful or interesting?