I tiptoe onto the porch. Sun slices morning sky. It’s welcome.
I settle within cool air, hot coffee, and still silence.
The wooden, slatted floor is rough and cold beneath my bare feet. A bird sings her good mornings. A cyclist speeds by.
And I sit. My laptop is by my side, unopened. My unfinished work can wait.
I run my fingertips over greens, purples, and oranges in muted tones. I note how soft the paper is – delicate even – and my own nails’ lack of shine, and need of polish. This, too, can wait.
I click open my pen and begin to write. It feels good to free my thoughts in this way. By ink, slowly, purposefully.
I’m writing a letter to a friend, one of five I’ll write this month.
By heart, I know that gifting myself the time and effort of friendship is key to my balance, my happiness, and my peace.
But by mind, it’s sometimes hard to pull myself away from my work and my family and my ways. There are so many things that need to be shined in my home.
Several years ago, I made the conscious decision to friend-focus in the way I tell my children to. I texted and invited and made cookies. I complimented and emailed and recommended books. I changed the way I viewed my friendships, looking for their goodness, zooming in on their light.
But I’ve been ignoring a small gem. Its shine is important, so I’m stepping into it now.
I’ve been missing the chance to tell my friends how I see them. Their goodness and their light, the way they make me feel, that they’re noticed.
So this month, I’m trying something new. I’m writing letters to five women whose friendship lifts me. I’m ridiculously lucky in that when I was deciding who to write to this month, my list of choices was long, and inspiring.
So in the still of this morning – as the sun lights and my family sleeps and my neighbors run – I’m focusing out, in order to focus in.
I leave myself (mostly) out of the letters, not writing about my thoughts or my memories or my details.
Instead, I write what I see in them. The light they offer; the gifts they give.
I pen who they are through my eyes.
Your laugh fills the space between earth and sky.
You hand out second chances, without second thoughts.
People’s shoulders relax around you.
Oh how you make people laugh until their cheeks and their lips and their stomachs hurt in appreciation.
You listen in the way that makes people feel heard.
We all deserve to be seen in our most flattering lights. We also all deserve the chance to notice others in this well lit way.