I have this one friend that is so totally zen that you could never imagine her having a single stressful moment for her entire life. In fact, anytime I have seen her cry about something all I could do was sit there in shock and awe that she had to cry about anything. Her life, to me, was charmed and so full of love and light, that to be in her presence were the most peaceful times I can remember in my own life. That is just how in touch she was with herself, and everything and everyone, around her.
Imagine having someone in your life that exuded zero judgement. That’s what it’s like to be her friend. It is a 100% no bullshit safe zone. I wish everyone could know her and be around her like I have had the privilege of doing.
All of that said, I’m going to tell you a little story about a time she and I spent together.
Both of us were working in the film industry at the time and we were in between films looking for the next project to work on. She always kept busy gardening and caring for her menagerie of cats. She had this amazing fairy tale backyard full of wild flowers that she added to all the time. she would see flowers growing in the bushes on the side of the road somewhere and stop to admire them. She kept a shovel in her trunk. If she saw a flower that she didn’t already have, she’d pull over and rush to get her shovel to dig a few of them up. Then lovingly plant them along with the rest of her bouquet of wildlings in the haven she created for herself at her home.
She also kept busy volunteering for Meals on Wheels. Every afternoon she piled into her minivan and drove over to the local kitchen to pick up meals to be delivered to the elderly and infirm. One year she asked if I would like to volunteer too. They needed extra drivers. I asked if I could ride along with her first to see what the job was about and so that’s what we did.
We delivered meals for the better part of the afternoon. All of the recipients knew my friend and she was greeted warmly at every door. Seeing how gracious and loving she was with each person made me wonder how I would do. Could I be this sunny and bright? My friend just oozed love and acceptance anywhere she went and I have to confess, it’s not as easy as she makes it look. You truly have to have a good heart.
We had delivered the last meal and were taking a break sitting in her minivan. The minivan was another magical place she had created. Decorated with hanging crystals, winged fairies, found things and seashells, glitter in the ashtray, with positive and encouraging platitudes and pretty pictures handwritten and drawn on post-its she had stuck on the dashboard, this minivan was like a mini art museum.
Anyway, she handed me a banana to snack on.
We ate our bananas in the shade from a tree she had parked beneath. We chatted about how the deliveries had gone and whether or not I thought I might like to become a bonafide Meals on Wheels delivery driver. I thought I might. I finished my banana and sat there holding the peeling, looking for a trash bag or a nice place to put it down. I looked at my friend who had already finished her banana and asked what she had done with her peel and she said, “I put it out for the birds to snack on.”
Now let me tell you what I envisioned after she said that…Snow White in the forest feeding the tiny bluebirds and singing some ethereal song while dancing around and spreading joy. Meanwhile my friend is smiling at me from across the minivan and has her hand out for my banana peel. I handed it over to her. I could not wait to see how she put this peeling out for the birds. I was completely mesmerized! Still smiling she turned away from me. It was almost in slow motion! Then she did the most amazing thing!
She rolled down her window and threw the peeling out.
That was it.
The crestfallen look on my face had to be hysterical because she started laughing and asked me what I thought she was going to do with it. When I told her that I thought it was going to be some mystical nurturing feeding of the birds, she cracked up too.
To me, she is still magick and that banana peeling only served to give me permission to be magical too someday. Yes, I can do that.
I love my friend and all of the memories she and I were able to make together. Even today, many, many years later she lets me believe that the world can be a place of wonder and whimsy on the best of days, and also on the worst of them. My heart is with her. ❤