I love my friends.
This past weekend was my last directing the choirs at my church job–I will be leaving the position this summer to start full time doctoral work. The choirs sang gorgeously, did a little sung blessing thing for me, and we had a party afterwards in the parish center (and the smaller group went out for dinner the night before, to celebrate the year and the transitions and our wonderful accompanist who is going to marry the love of his life next weekend). It was an awesome few days.
And they gave me gifts–the kind of gifts you treasure as much because you can tell by what they chose how well they know you as by the gifts themselves. (That’s a confusing sentence…does it make sense?)
One of the groups gave me gift certificates to Clover’s Garden Center, which I haunt the way some women haunt shoe stores. And I have much haunting yet to do this season, since my poor lavender and chamomile plugs didn’t make it through the shipping process from Richters. (Despite this–I highly recommend Richters for anyone looking to have healthy herbs, plants or seeds, shipped to them. It was just bad luck that the poor things hit a huge heat wave in the Chicago area and just got shocked out of existence, and the company was very responsive and credited me for the lost plants. And I got plenty more plants from them in the same shipment that did make it and are thriving beautifully.) The other gave me a gorgeous dwarf Korean lilac bush, already well-grown and absolutely beautiful. (And another gift card…) They also made a beautiful framed display of the CD we’d all made together last year, and everyone signed the mat. One of the groups made me a framed and signed photo of all of us in the group, as well.
For me–these are absolutely perfect gifts. Things that will keep on growing, that will be part of my life for years, giving color and sweet fragrance to the place that is my home, that will be permanent testaments to these years of friendship and work together. Things that honor what is really important to me–the names and faces and memories, and the love of growing green things.
My friends are awesome.