August 20, 2015

I met Sarah at a writing group several years ago at a writing group. At the time, I was working on a memoir-type book about my experiences as a mother of a very young child. Although I left the writing group feeling less confident about my writing skills, I gained a couple of friends from the experience and Sarah is one of them. A very intelligent, soft-spoken woman, Sarah had recently published a fascinating book called Eve’s Bible: A Woman’s Guide to the Old Testament, and I was impressed by not only that achievement but by her thoughtful approach to her own writing and to critiquing the work of the rest of the group. I also loved the fact that as the group talked, Sarah would be sitting knitting some amazing piece of clothing with beautifully color-coordinated yarn. The woman is laden with talents.

We have stayed in touch over the past 7 years or so since I left the writing group. We often bump into each other, either walking in the neighborhood or visiting the library, and catch up on one or more of our many common interests, including writing, blogging, various artistic and cultural offerings, sustainable living and even de-cluttering. Recently, she was helping an elderly friend downsize and get rid of a lot of stuff, a monumental task that made her determined not to acquire too much herself. Around that time, I offered her a book by Karen Armstrong. She politely declined the book as she wanted to keep her material possessions to a minimum – especially after seeing how much clutter it is possible to acquire.

Today, Sarah appeared unexpectedly at our house bearing a gift for me of her delicious homemade peach and plum jam. This is the kind of gift I love, as it is made by a friend, it’s deliciously edible and will be perfect for my new breakfast regime. She mentioned that she wanted to pick my brains about Scotland as she and her sister are traveling there soon. I was delighted to hear this, because I grew up in Scotland and love the country dearly, but even more so because I happened to have pulled out a Scotland travel book that my husband David had bought for our trip there 3 years ago. It was sitting on the dining table waiting for a new home. I offered it to Sarah, and this time, she accepted. Even with gifts, it seems, it’s all about the timing…

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