searchSwapping out clothes – Winter for Summer wares – an annual rite of Spring. A household cleansing of spirit, re-connecting with my wealth of wear via the mundane.

As I sheathed and unsheathed the clothes according to their seasons, repurposing plastic cleaner bags to shield them from six months of dust, I noted how many of the clothes hadn’t been worn… Once.

I began to sort for donation:

I was moving among the closets, retrieving and repositing clothing, as protracted means of busiment while I processed the loss of a friend. Movement releases thought, resolves grief, causes reflection. Merriment sometimes emerges amongst these, but not today.

Remorse hit me: we hadn’t visited this friend, who lived in Colorado, in three years. He and his family had visited here once three years before that. My husband and he used to ski several winters after my knees gave out. The bond was dear.

thunderThe parallel was clear, too: a wealth of clothing, a wealth of friends. Some not cleaved to heart enough, expended for new, replaced by tasks and tendency to complacency. Reach out and touch someone replaced by Can you hear me here-and-now.

Guilt rolled in like thunder. I was a closet case for awhile. A headache of rumination stopped my body’s purposeful movements. I began this post.

Then it occurred to me that several invitations have been flung in my path, in part due to STASHES, my novel: my — high school reunion beckoned as did far-flung sisters of my college sorority, two nieces were getting married in Fort Wayne.

We’d grumbled that these events couldn’t consolidate into one airfare cost. No longer… We’d stashed cash for retirement. The time that is now. Yesterday is as gone as our friend.

What price does one put on a friend’s beating heart, a person to whom one can confess a deep passion or a deep sin, a blunder dissembled by his/her hug?

Honey of a friend, Constant Reader, we decided that’s what our stash of cash was for. We made airline reservations, stumbling through Internet strife to secure a low price, not caring if our Master Card cried. Our Master had called a person home. Our tears would fill an ocean if we let opportunities pass…it’s actually been our mantra for years: Carpe Diem, so let’s go.

We’d devoted hundreds of Midwestern visits to our direct families for over 30 years. It’s time for dear friends.

To everything there is a season.