Monday, October 13, 2008

A day with friends

The weather here in Upstate NY was beautiful all weekend. This was fortunate because I had hiking plans for Saturday.

In a very rare treat, Kevin was available to spend all of Saturday with the kids, so that I could spend the day with friends. I consider myself very lucky to be part of the Ryder/LC/Bentley trio for the past 22 years! Earlier in the month, Ryder celebrated her birthday. So this day of hiking was a birthday celebration!

LC, Coltrane, and Ryder on the cliff

Ryder came to my house at 8AM, and we headed out to meet LC. LC actually lives near New Paltz, and is the educator for the State Park there. Since we were hiking down near Shayna, she joined us for the day.

The park that LC works at is beautiful. It is unlike any other park I've seen in NY. Most NY hikes are up a mountain, with not much of a view until you reach the peak. The trail that LC chose for us, travels almost completely along the edge of a cliff. The views were astounding! At one point I stopped to watch a bird circling. I was fascinated by this bird, which was rare, because birds just don't catch my attention normally. It finally occurred to me that the reason I was so fascinated was because the bird was actually soaring below me. It was an interesting perspective.

A view of the lake

There is something priceless about spending the day with lifelong friends! The conversation, and silences, are easy. There is a natural flow and understanding that is unique to our group. So few people in this world know me in the way that Ryder and LC know me. I suspect that the same is true for all of us. We have been there for each other through all of the heartbreaks and thrills of the past 22 years. There is a depth to our connections that grounds me. These friendships have the strength that make time irrelevant. We may not see each other for weeks, we may not know the daily activities of each other(as we used to before kids and careers), but the core strength of our friendship is formidable.

The foliage from the cliff

Ryder and LC have been very influential women in Shayna's life, and have been there for her (and me) as she has grown up. Shayna has often accompanied us on hikes and camping trips and many other "girl's only" events over the years. They have known Shayna through all of her adorable baby days, fun loving elementary years, and awkward junior high events! They have been her counsel and mentors when she has not always wanted to confide in me.

Shayna dangling her feet over the edge

On this day, there was an element to our group that was new, yet familiar. As you know, Shayna has been at NP since August. Although I talk to her regularly, I do not see her every day. The distance has been a wonderful thing. She is growing so quickly into her own person. She is spreading her wings and soaring. Like the Turkey vulture I watched from the cliff, I am seeing Shayna from a new perspective too. I suspect that at times she is stumbling, and working to find her footing. I hope that she is developing her own web of friends that will be there when she is in her forties.

She joined us on this day, as an adult, a peer, and a woman friend! It was truly a wonderful way to spend the day...with 2 lifelong friends and our new "woman" addition to the group!


Felicia said...

That sounds like an awesome day!

PennyCandy said...

You are truely lucky and blessed to have such a strong connection for so long. You are also lucky and blessed because you are able to spend time with these friends more than once a year. It is wonderful that you recognize that bond and that the three of you have maintained it for 22 years.

KJ said...

What a great day!

HeidiTri's said...

It really was a great day! You're right, B. I'm very lucky to have such great friends and to be able to see them regularly.