Having a friend come to your door bearing gifts in a time of crisis is never to be taken lightly. And if that person comes to your door during a pandemic, the friend is an even greater treasure. A woman whom I knew only a little before the start of the pandemic, but who has become a dear friend through the course of the last year, recently brought these beautiful roses to my door. The beauty of the gift and the friendship of the giver carried me through a challenging time.
Have you had friends—or perhaps even a stranger—show up in surprising or unexpected ways during this past year? Have you shown up for a loved one in such a way? As the pandemic drags on, I invite you to look for ways to show up, even if that means showing up virtually through a text or a phone call or an email or a letter. Your simple act of showing up can be a precious gift.
Join me in the hunt for beauty? Where do you see beauty in a broken world? Want to add your own images during the 31-day journey? If so, feel free to comment below with your Instagram handle, and tag your Insta posts with #beautyinabrokenworld. You’ll find me there @pixofhope.
I’m traveling west today, sitting too long among strangers after spending several lovely days with family and friends.
A couple of weekends ago, I got to see one of my dearest friends and two of her children, now grown into amazing young women. We met in Napa and spent a fun day together.
Worried I’d get slowed down in traffic, I wanted to arrive at our first destination early. I hit traffic (of course) but still arrived with time to wander the gardens at our first stop. I thought you might enjoy wandering along with me for a few moments.
We sat together at kitchen tables, on living room chairs, in restaurants and on park benches. I spent some much-needed and much-cherished time with North Carolina friends and family recently, dashing from place to place and trying to be present to hear each friend’s story.
We talked of books and significant others and children and new jobs, of travel hopes and dreams, of moves and looming changes. The conversations, while unique, shared a common thread: “Dear one, sit with me and hear my heart beat.” If you had passed by and seen us, heads bowed toward each other and spilling words quickly, long pent up from a too-far separateness, you would have known you were seeing friendship embodied.
These precious conversations didn’t have time to linger with toes dangling in the shallow end. Limited moments together meant a headfirst dive into the deep. Continue reading →
My husband and I feel very blessed to know the couple whose garden we’re touring today. We share much in common, and from the earliest days of getting to know us, they began sharing food with us. Fresh fish caught in the Pacific. Tamales at Christmas. Garden fruits and vegetables throughout the year. You get the idea. We’re blessed.
While our friends focus their efforts on vegetable gardening, they have lovely flowers, too:
They will say, “This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.” —Ezekiel 36:35
Summer may be coming to an end for many of you as school doors open again. I always think of back-to-school time as the start of fall. It’s not fall here by a long shot, but the blistering heat has abated some. Instead of triple digits, we’ve enjoyed low 90s for the last few days. Ahhhhh.
As I’ve wandered my friends’ gardens this summer, my love of trees has expanded. The shade they provide make this boiling hot place tolerable in summer. Backyard pools—much more commonplace here than where I’m from—help, too. The friend whose garden I’m touring with you today has both. She also has something no other garden I’ve seen has: a guard she calls Don Quixote.