waiting for a friend

waiting here I am sitting on a log beside the edge of the woods. It is a cool, clear morning and I am waiting for something … the day? … a friend?

Yes, that’s right, I am supposed to meet a friend here, a good friend. As I remember, my heart warms and quickens. It is so easy to forget the comfort and completion friends can bring. They own a piece of you – take it with them when they go. It’s not that you begrudge it. It is a free gift and they leave a bit of themselves in exchange, but from that time forward, you are a little empty without them. Daily activities fill the void, and as you grow and change, that void may even fade, but a deep friend’s hole remains and only their voice, their smile, their presence can fill that particular hole.

So, who is the friend I am waiting for today? Whose presence will delight my soul?

After a moment’s quietness, I realize that the friend I’m waiting for is me. I’m a little embarrassed by the thought. How conceited to be waiting with such anticipation for myself! But deeper in, I know that there is reason to look forward to this return. The harried hurry of my days have emptied me of my better self, the one that had time to think, to contemplate, to let an idea rise and form itself before expression, the one who was connected to others and devoted to purposes which had depth. In dashing day to day I have lost that better self, have operated on scraps and vestiges of being, until this shell of me sits empty on this log.

At last my friend, this deeper self, approaches in the company of the Holy One. I find that I am sobbing, realizing how deep the hole has been. The Holy One and my friend stand beside me and place their hands upon my head. Their strength and silent power flows into me and suddenly I become one with that deeper self, standing beside the Holy One. The Holy One looks me in the eye and lightly brushes my cheek.

“There is time to be. Take it. Do not neglect your purpose here with busyness.”

Then she is gone and I am left alone – alone with myself, my full self – at least as full as I have come to be – and I rejoice.

4/8/95

[photo by Seth Wilson per cc 2.0]

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