The February my older daughter had just turned one, she and I went to a playgroup in Craftsbury, and only a woman I hadn’t met and her one-year-old son showed up. The tykes fought over a red plastic shovel (my child was the aggressor), and eventually we hid the shovel. While the kids checked out the plastic toys, the woman and I talked, and talked, and talked, and in some ways haven’t really stopped talking since.
Today, in one of these weird slips of time, my friend and I drove around Woodbury, this rural Vermont town, population 902, over dirt roads, up hills and along narrow roads without guardrails beside ponds, looking for one particular thing.
Crisscrossing these roads in the rain, we passed my daughter’s elementary school several times, and I thought of my child at her tidy desk, in the warm red schoolhouse with the rain coming against the windows.
My friend and I met no one else but a pickup truck or two on these back roads. Several times I asked, Should I drive up there? It looks like a bike trail and not a road.
Yes, she insisted, yes — and only once got out so I didn’t back into a ditch.
How long our friendship spins out, stitched through with so many things: new babies, and gardening, books and more books, a courtroom, jobs, days at the lake, coffee, broken vehicles, farmers markets, deaths, and a whole lot of laughing. I wouldn’t trade the laughing for anything.
Nobody sees a flower, really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.
– Georgia O’Keefe