This weekend I drove with 6 friends to Ashford Washington, a small town near Mt. Rainier Park. Supposedly the point of the trip was to attend a wine tasting to celebrate a new winery that a friend of a friend was launching. In fact, it was a perfect opportunity for a reunion of artgirls who had gone to Guatemala together, followed by 2 years of Sacred Dirt Tours in the desert southwest.
One dear friend came from Salt Lake City, two others from Minneapolis and the rest of us hailed from around Seattle. We converged in Seattle and then made our way down south toward the mountain.
Yeah, the scenery was beautiful; sure, the wine tasting was fun; of course there were hours and hours of talking, laughing, eating and sharing...even a hula hoop demonstration.
But the very, very best part of the whole weekend was a quiet moment that might have gone unnoticed. It involved J who had had a very tough couple of years, wrestling with the end of a trying marriage and the death of a close friend.
J is fairly quiet and somewhat self-effacing despite being one of the most amazing women I know. She's someone who gives of herself so generously that sometimes she finds herself depleted. J was telling us about a new relationship she's in, her first since she married her ex-husband 30 years ago. She explained her theory that in every relationship there is a FLOWER and a GARDENER. Her former husband (aka the "wasband") was pretty much an 18 foot tall sunflower and J was the ever-steady gardener who made sure it flourished.
Describing her new guy, J shared how much they have in common and how attentive he is to her. Her shy smile turned into a radiant outpouring of joy as she threw her hands up in the air declaring, "This time I'M the flower!"
We've known that all along and I was so glad her new partner saw that, too.