When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin


Life is just awful sometimes, even most times. We have to be realistic about that and avoid the rough patches as best we can, you know? p 105

I wish you were here right now. If you were I would bake you cookies and put the kettle on the stove for tea. I’d pull a few cups out of the cupboard and give you your choice of flavors. I might go with caramel peach, but you can have your pick.

I know it’s July, but that’s never kept us from a good tea before. We could wrap our hands around the steaming mugs and catch each other up. On what we’ve been reading, movies we’ve watched, podcasts that we found interesting, places we’ve visited, and the state of our gardens.

If we walked outside I’d show the tomatoes I managed to plant, ever hopeful that they will produce some flavorful additions to our salad. Maybe enough to make some spaghetti sauce because fresh roasted vegetables taste like quintessential summer. I could show you the rhubarb that’s bigger than its ever been. I would offer to send some home with you, even passing on a recipe for my favorite muffins.

I’d show you the roses that continue to bloom and the raspberries that were a surprise this year. I could show you the beebalm that has suddenly exploded. And if we were very quiet, the hummingbird might be by for a quick sip. But then we’d have to go inside before the bugs found us.

Don’t be surprised that it’s quieter at our house then it used to me. The boy’s away at circus camp and we are still feeling the loss of our dear sweet Vera dog. Sitting back at the table, our talk would surely turn to world events. I don’t know which tragedy we should speak of first, but know that I would try to offer up words of comfort. I don’t quite know how it got to be so bad, or what exactly we can do to fix it. These are the thoughts I struggle with at two in the morning. That quicksand feeling of despair clutches at me and won’t let go. That’s when I do most of my audiobook listening, the voices usually lull me back to sleep.

I want to be hopeful and offer you some resistance against the despair. But I’ll offer you a plate of warm cookies, just taken out of the oven. And though we should let them cool, let’s indulge ourselves. Let’s hold hands for a moment and bolster each other up. Let’s smile through our tears and start to think of things we can do. Ways we can be kind. That’s what the world needs now. Maybe it seems overly simple, but what if we smiled at one another and said Hello to a stranger. Doesn’t it all add up to an eventual tidal change? Baby steps…

Then we can look over my list of puppy names, maybe you can add a few suggestions. And if you want to take a few books home, please do. Always happy to share.


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