Monday, December 26, 2005

Good Friends and Open Spaces

This past Christmas weekend, I was reminded again and again of the wonderful people I am fortunate to call my friends and family. I recieved this as a part of a Christmas wish from a friend and colleague of mine that I rarely see, but who is wonderfully supportive:

To each of you who, I want you to know that you are very special in my life and I am blessed to have you as friends. You have added life to my life in your friendships. God bless you all.

I appreciate both the honesty and elegance of thought. It's true -- good friends do add life to life. Often, they make life more enjoyable, more bearable, and more worth living.

Though good friends make the world go round, trying to do everything with everybody over the holidays and get all your work done can be exhausting. Shakespeare certainly had it right:
"The world is too much with us.
Late and soon, getting and spending, we lay waste our powers."

And so, I played hooky this weekend, gave myself an early Christmas present, and stayed home while the rest of the family went on an outing. I know I stepped on a few toes by not going along. But all I wanted to do was spend some time by myself in my house. I got about 5 hours alone and didn't do a single second of work. It was wonderfully relaxing and recharging.

The same friend I referenced earlier included a holiday devotional thought in his Christmas wish. He has no idea of how I jealously covet time by myself, but I thought his choice of words inspired. An excerpt:

The world has become too much a part of us, and we are afflicted with the idea that we aren’t accomplishing anything unless we are always busy running back and forth. We no longer believe in the importance of a calm retreat where we sit silently in the shade... We become entirely too practical. We believe in having “all our irons in the fire” and all the time we spend away from the anvil or fire is wasted time. Yet our time is never more profitably spent than when set aside time for quiet meditation... We can never have to many of these open spaces in life.

Here's wishing you an abundance of good friends, silent shade, and open spaces as this year draws to a close and the new one nears.