Day 329 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

It doesn’t happen every day that I get the chance to have High Tea with a group of lady friends who I have known for some years, but I did today and it was wonderful.

We used to meet as a spiritual group every fortnight for a number of years, but in the last few years commitments and other distractions meant that we disbanded, however we make sure we always meet up at least once every year.

The front area of Lash Cafe

This time, one of the girls led us to a High Tea at a little cafe called “Lash” in a little inner city suburb, so we gathered at this lovely cafe to celebrate the coming of Christmas.

I have just arrived home from Lash Cafe and my heart is feeling full at meeting with friends who I do not see as often as I would like. There was hugs and kisses all round, laughter and joy at the birth of new grandchildren and care about the health of aging mothers, and the comings and going of children.

One friend who son had married a Chinese girl had tales to tell of the wedding, filled not only with love and joy but with an interesting mix of culture. It comprised tea ceremonies and changes of clothing, which ended with the bridal couple dancing the tango complete with appropriate dress.  I’d love to have seen that.

Another girl had completed a course of study over two years, and we hailed her ability to stick it out and graduate to new things after turning 60. Who said one couldn’t have a career change at an older age?

We were not surprised when another capable friend told us how she was learning French two days a week  and we laughed uproariously when she said she was the only female amongst three young students plus the male teacher! So delightful when she is also in her mature years. Never too old to be surrounded by the young … and all men to boot!

I was surprised to learn from yet another friend, that she had closed her florist business two years ago, yet I did not know about it. It made me realise how fast the years fly by and you don’t know what is happening in other people’s lives when you are not in touch.

We asked after her son, a well-known Rugby player. It was so nice to get an up-to-date account of this man without reading it in the paper and trying to figure fact from fiction. We all like to claim “We knows ‘so and so’s’  Mum!”

A few more, I am second from right.

Another friend’s life has changed as she tries to fit in helping family and grandchildren around other commitments. Life has never been so hectic life for her. I had plenty of empathy as I recounted how my life had changed since my own daughter had moved from Sydney to Brisbane … not that we would change one moment of it.

One friend, told of being in the position of looking for employment and feeling quite ambivalent about working in administration or finance again. What to do next was playing large in her mind. In her early forties, what should she do?

And there were discussions about my blogging every day. Questions on how long I had to go … and what would I do when I finish on 31st December? Who knows …  but I am sure SOME blogging will be involved!

A year of Bible College had been completed for one of the young mothers, who somehow managed to juggle three children as well as study. However she said she loved every moment of her study. Another amazing woman!

I was congratulated on the birth of my granddaughter Madeleine and we all remembered how my son and his wife lost twin boys last year, and now she had been blessed with the gift of a daughter and carried her to full term. There was much rejoicing about this one folks.

And we thanked our friend who organised the High Tea, who had brought along her mother-in-law and then surprised us with Christmas gifts at the end. A gifted teacher with children of her own, she works full-time. She has done very well to keep on going when times get tough.

We also have a Chinese friend who always delights us with her presence and she told of working in her retail business with her husband. Times are tough at present as the economy tries to recover. A mother of young adults, life is never easy.

Oh dear friends, how lovely it was to meet up with people who you feel comfortable with and who you have shared the ups and downs of life with on a regular basis. As soon as you are together, you are home. You fit in. You know each other so well that there is comfort in being together.

And we all continue to share a spiritual journey too. In the past, we have shared our struggles, we have shared our joys and our sorrows and we know that we will be received and accepted for who we are, without question. How often in this life, do you meet friends that give such a gift of acceptance to you?

As we were leaving, one friend asked me if I would write about the High Tea on my blog today. She said: “Tess, you could call it ‘Lashings of Love’ and those who were present all nodded and said “yes I think that is a good title.

Two of the girls plus the food at Lash

Yes, I would agree. The Lash Cafe produced lashings of lovely food today. They gave us good service. Delicious tea and coffee. But the truth is that the Cafe was just a lovely setting for all of us friends to gather in order to give Lashings of Love to one another.

And I feel so blessed and so grateful to have these amazing women in my life … and to call them my friends. May you all find such friends in your lives too.

Our meeting of friends over for another year …