They exude confidence--"con" meaning "with" and "fide" meaning "faith"--as they walk with faith, these beautiful women with Spirit shining through them. We gather around the small round table at Jeremy's On the Hill in Wynola, a tiny village high in the mountains, each sipping wine or beer on this Sunday afternoon, celebrating a birthday and just celebrating life and friendship.
Through physical and emotional pain, Spirit beams strong in them. They may feel brittle, even broken at times, but that's not how I see them. I see joy deep in their eyes, a joy that supersedes the circumstances of life. And there's an innate intelligence that comes forth in delicacy of expression, in precision of phrase, in appreciation of beauty. Lunching with poets is a humbling experience.
While savouring butternut squash soup, Julian apple salads, chicken panini, fresh pommes frites, and peach cobbler, we also relished friendship. Words flowed; images birthed that will bring future thought to fruition. Truth reigned freely, the way it rarely does even among the closest of friends. The autumn air warmed this Sunday in October, swathed in golden-tipped trees and clear azure skies.
I came home from this remarkable afternoon ever so grateful, making definite progress along the Pathway to 1000 Gifts at the Gratitude Community as I thank God this day for...
351. ...a blessed afternoon with kindred spirits dear to my heart and integral to my writerly soul
352. ...celebrating my dear husband's birthday at the same incredible restaurant in Wynola, a lovely evening spent together.
353. ...the joy to have won free tickets to take Elizabeth to Burn the Floor tomorrow night. She was literally dancing around the living room for sheer joy! Thanks to Jen at Mommy of Many for the tix!
354. ...a week off between Brave Writer classes which allowed me time to rest and recover.
355. ...the incredible joy of hearing our middle son practice piano each morning, so creatively, so joyfully, as he composes his own pieces.
356. ...an afternoon by a beautiful pool within view of San Diego Bay and the majestic Coronado Bridge, even if I had to grade essays.
357. ...the great progress made on proofreading the Book of Common Prayer this week.
358. ...the wonderful news that we received permission from Crossways to use the English Standard Version Bible for the Scripture passages in the Book of Common Prayer.
359. ...the support of dear friends during the little crisis mentioned in #360.
360. ...that after a bit of a scare on Tuesday, including an ambulance ride to the hospital from her doctor's office, my mom is doing just fine now. Thanks be to God!!!
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. --Psalm 28:7, ESV
Grateful to God, this day and evermore,