A simple meal with a friend can be rich, layered & powerfully sustaining to the soul
I have long been fascinated by the allure of the ocean; its vastness, the majestic movement of the waves. Beachside on any day, especially sunny days, brings me pleasure and always awe. So when my friend called me up and invited me to an early morning breakfast on Independence Day, my response was a resounding Yes! While the meal of coffee, pancakes, eggs and bacon was unremarkable, what was special was the conversation and the view of the ocean as we ate.
We have been friends since 1993 and although a decade separates us [she being the younger] we both have a love of nature and in particular, a love of the ocean. I recall last summer along with her four boys and a host of friends from her alma mater, we spent a day at Dubois Park in a sort of beachside reunion that was raucous and energizing. Today, minus the loud banter, our conversation flitted from one topic to the next: work, children, spouses, friendships, family. The crashing of the waves, the tourists under the umbrellas and the folk gathered at the pier fishing, was a fitting backdrop to the conversation that reminded us that the community we have become provides a kind of accountability which is mutually reinforcing instead of competitive or wasteful.
This wasn’t mindless chit chat, but part of the building block of a reinforcing discourse that serves to bolster; a way of connecting and supporting, incorporating the beauty and power of nature into the walk of friendship. The essential focus of our conversation was how do we engage the resources around us to realize our creative potential? To be sure, we did not find the answers that day, but the probing and the honest feedback provided food for thought that will lead to further contemplation that no doubt will prove revealing along the way.
Christiane Northrup, MD & author, states that immersing yourself in an activity that you find pleasurable can trigger a state in which your creativity is heightened and the neuro- chemical dopamine is increased in your body, upping your happiness factor. For me, this kind of camaraderie satisfies the need for gossip &testimony, dreaming & support. Fellowshipping with my circle of friends over the years, I have come to realize that such simple experiences are rich, layered & powerfully sustaining to the soul.
And so I bow to the power of the ocean, for it is an apt metaphor for the journey of friendship as we communicate with each other & chart our dreams. As I think about how breakfast with a friend and a simple walk by the ocean is an experience of empowerment and self –affirmation, I believe that I am growing in understanding of the words of Camus, come walk by me and be my friend.