Around 10:30am this morning my phone rang.It was Chris.
Chris: “Is that Linda?”
Me: “On a good day.”
Chris: “This is a really long shot, but we’re in the area and wondered if we could drop by?”
Me: “That would be perfect, as long as you can ignore the mess!”
And indeed it was. Chris dropped by with his 2 year old daughter, who played very happily with my girls and our visiting bunny, Hugsy (aka Vicious Attack Rabbit, but only in the eyes of the local scaredy cat, who can’t quite get over the fact that It Moves!! It MOVES!!!!). Meanwhile Chris and I caught up over coffee and fortuitous cake (the best kind).
It was a short visit, perhaps an hour or so, but it made my day. Before Chris’s call, I was moping and feeling rather flat. I recognised that I needed company, but I couldn’t quite work out how to make it happen. Life was getting on top of me, and it was a short ride from there to grumpyville. One phone call and a visit changed all that.
There were hugs. There was chat. There was eye contact and cake. It was enough to take the edge off my mood, and it was delightful to reconnect with Chris, who I hadn’t seen for ages. We had been scheming to catch up over the school holidays, but as so often happens, it didn’t quite work out, and our schedules got rather full without us actually booking each other in.
We don’t seem to be very good at dropping in on each other, as a general rule. Sometimes I feel as though everyone else has a hectic and full social life, and an unexpected visit would be an unwelcome intrusion. And then I wonder if we are all thinking the same thing? Between weekend sport, language classes, dancing or drama classes and work commitments, the flexible gaps in our lives can easily shrink to vanishing point. But how many of those activities nourish us and feed our souls?
So often I will wind up spending an unexpected hour with a friend and come away feeling loved, cherished and revitalised. And saying “we must do that again soon!”, yet falling victim once again to those crazy schedules, and not catching up for months, if not years.
I was particularly lucky today, because my husband’s riding partner, Allen, also dropped by this morning.
Me: “Is Allen coming this morning?”
Andrew: “Maybe. He said he might leave early and ride out this way.”
Me: “So I need to decide between getting dressed or getting sprung in my jarmies?”
Me: “Jarmies it is.”
So there I was, in dressing gown and jarmies. Hair as the pillow intended. Coffee firmly in hand. And Allen duly showed up. I made him a coffee, chatted, and felt completely unfazed about slobbing about in my PJs. It helps that I have known Allen for a rather long time. But I think there is an important point lurking somewhere in that story. Allen caught me in my PJs, Chris caught me with the house in a mess. Both of them saw me real and in the moment, and we connected easily.
I think that spur of the moment realness is something we don’t often make possible in our lives. We schedule catch ups, bake cakes, clean the house, put on make up and the good clothes, and we never see what’s under the surface. We don’t spring ourselves on people because we don’t want to intrude. And I think that takes the spring out of all our relationships.