A big firefly welcome to Rebecca Wells!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hello again---

I know it's been a while, but a few months ago, I promised you all that the fabulous Rebecca Wells would be stopping by on the blog to say a few words to you. Between her busy schedule and mine, it's taken a little while to put the whole thing together, but when you read her very cool essay, I think you'll agree with me that it was worth the wait. It's exactly who Rebecca is--open, honest, spiritual, and thoughtful. You can find out more about her and her books at http://www.rebeccawellsbooks.com/. I would have posted a photograph of her, but you know me. It was technically over my head. I was lucky to figure out the website link and the book cover. :)

She's put out a call for your thoughts on making friends, and given how much we've discussed friendship on this blog, and it's importance in our lives, I think it's a great idea to spend a few moments reflecting on how some of our best friendships started. I hope Rebecca will check back with us every now and then and share her thoughts, too.

And so, without further ado, here is Rebecca's post to all of you. It's called "Making friends from eighth grade on." We are really fortunate to get a chance to hear from her directly. Please feel free to post questions or comments to Rebecca. I'll pass them along to her...

A little while ago, I left a note for Kristin at a local independent bookstore, and asked the bookseller to give it to her the next time she came in. Time passed, and eventually I heard her voice on my machine. We phone-tagged each other f or a while, then we finally got together for tea at my hour. Time flew as we talked about everything under the sun, and before we said good-bye, we put another date in our books, and a few months later we enjoyed pastries at a local outdoor cafe. (I just loved how generously she shared her blueberry muffin!) Now she is on my mind--how is she doing I wonder, what she's up to, where she is (you can never keep up!) I send her pink and blue thoughts or P&B's as the Ya-Yas call prayers. I have no idea where my baby friendship with Kristin will lead, but that's okay. It's all an adventure. I do not know the map or the country of a new friendship, but I know that if all of us leave our hearts open and let our antenna pick up the clues that tell us that another person’s someone whose own heart is open, and able and willing to meet us in friendship, then all kinds of new flowers can blossom.

Remember making girl friends when we were in grammar school-- eighth grade especially. How I recall the equal parts fear and e excitement! Those days as girls when, in brave moments we might blurt out, "Will you be my friend?" How open that was! How innocent, and hopeful! With also a tinge of fear. What if she doesn't like me?

Sometimes I ask myself: how do those eighth grade girlfriend days effect how I make new friends as an adult? How does that little girl figure in the woman I am now? Since first painting female friendships in their rich, complex relations, in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and now, in my just published first stand-alone book, And, I 'vet learned from the hundreds of letters and emails I receive from readers that I'm not alone in exploring these questions. How do we "make" new friends?

When we're grown-ups (well, more or less grownups!) it's a different kind of vulnerability we feel when we make new friends. Our culture leaves us with so few unscheduled hours in a day that most of us have little time for a new relationship, even if want to. We have to take time away from one part of our lives in order to give it to a new friendship. How do we balance this? How do we make room in our daily calendars for the time we want to spend with a new friend? How do we allow ourselves to become vulnerable to prospective new girlfriend in our lives? Time is precious to us now, and to give it is to give something that has become golden in this rushing world.

In this world which values consuming and driving fast through life, we have to slow down in order to do anything that involves nourishing the soul, and that includes making time for a new friend. Ah, but when we do, we open up a new pathway through which a new friend might walk. Or not. We take chances here. She, the one willing to open to us is taking chances as well. How does she know we will not hurt her? Opening to a new friendship takes courage. Courage is necessary to knock on the door of a new friendship. If we don't knock, then we stay safe in our world, as we know it. But if we knock, it's possible that a door can open into a new world, a world in which new laughter can erupt, new loyalties can be forged, and the magic of a new girlfriend can make itself known.

Then, making time doesn’t seem so difficult. We decide that a friendship is important, and bump something over to make room for it. Life is big, the world is generous, and, with some effort, we can learn to embrace not only the eighth grade girl within ourselves, but the same in our new friend.

Making friends might start with something as easy as a note left in a bookstore!

I'd love to hear your stories of new friends. If you'd like to share, please visit me at rebeccawellsbooks.com and you'll be able to jump to my social sites from there Who knows? You might find a new friend there, or somewhere thereabouts!

84,000 Blessings,



Anonymous Jo said...

My friend Terry and I have this discussion all the time! We know we met through a mutual friend but neither of us can remember when our 'friend of a friend' relationship turned into the strong friendship we have now.

I distinctly remember a birthday card she gave me in eighth grade and she has many fond memories of my Titanic phase in the seventh but we can't seem to remember the moment we became friends.

Maybe there was no big moment. Maybe it started in middle school the way it grew stonger in college. Slowly and quietly. Simply putting forth the effort to reach out when it wasn't easy and stay in touch. To care when no one else did.

Clearly, we didn't realize the importance then but as so many of those old friendships fade as we get older we certainly recognize the importance of good girlfriends now. =)

October 14, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Fisk said...

Recently, I joined Facebook. I was so reluctant to do this, not needing another thing that required my time. But my oldest child convinced me I needed to create an account (and when I didn't do it--she created one for me). And you know what? I'm so glad she did. Finding time to visit and connect with friends is almost impossible these days. But I have reconnected with so many wonderful friends from years ago. Friends from high school...friends I met when my kids were in preschool. Friends from the kids' activities. I know a computer message isn't anywhere near as wonderful as a face to face get together, but right now, with my life as crazy as it is, touching base through Facebook is better than not touching base at all. One day I hope to meet all of my fellow Firefly sisters!!

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit, Rebecca. I'm so looking forward to reading your new book.

All my best,
PS LOVE pink and blue thoughts or P&B's.

October 15, 2009 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger princessapr said...

I will second Facebook. Thanks to the social networking, I've found friends I made in nursery school and lost touch with in 4th grade after I moved. It's nice to know so many remember me 20+ years later. I have friends from grade school, high school, college, church, first jobs, past jobs, current job. I don't make friends easily - deep friendships. However, I do try to keep in touch and keep friends. Some only get Christmas cards but some I email weekly/monthly.

Thanks to the Internet, I've also found many friends who share the same hobbies which is great. None of my friends outside of the Internet really read or read the same books as I.

I love the little girl's face on The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder. I can almost hear her giggle. Looks great!

October 15, 2009 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Patricia T. said...

First of all, thank you Rebecca for sharing your thoughts with us and nudging us to ponder our friendships a little more deeply! I love your book cover and will look forward to reading your new novel.

I connect easily with people. My friendships continue to evolve in a very different way than when I was a child, teenager, young adult and parent. Like April and everyone else, I have had the traditional school, college, career, and church friends. I also developed friendships with those I share a passion for classical music, the opera, art, reading and global service activities.

As I have grown emotionally, mentally and spiritually, my friendships have matured and I am drawn to people for different reasons. As I reach different stages in my life, new and wonderful friends appear. My closest and dearest friends are those who appeared as I began seeking and studying spiritually in my late 30's to early 40's. We are like-minded and share a very deep bond because we're traveling a path together others have not. We live all over the country/world and we see one another many times a year and communicate by phone and internet -- some of these bonds began over 20 years. New people join the group, so it is not stagnant.

My dearest friend in that group of friends is Sally, now 93 years old. I met her when she was 77. She received her Ph.D. in Theology in her 80s and published a book at 82 -- her life work. Sally has been my teacher, my mentor, and the wise woman in my life. She took me under her wing and nourished my soul at a time when I was very ready. What a glorious and joyful journey it has been. So often we forget how much we can learn from our elders, especially in this fast-paced technologically oriented day. I am blessed to know and love her. Sally is now in a senior facility. She continues to read and is so vitally interested in world events. She laughs and says she's preparing for her next life. She still is teaching me! For me, my new friend was an elder.


October 16, 2009 at 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Rebecca has always been one of my favorite authors, and as a true Petite YaYa, I can tell you guys - she is dead on. Just as you guys who live in the NW say that Kristin nails it every time - I feel the same about Rebecca Wells. Having been born and raised in SW Louisiana, and spending every summer at my grandparents' homes in Oakdale, Alexandria, and Chicot State Park, Rebecca's books are pure nostalgia for me. I love going back into my own memories, as I get lost in her story. The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is wonderful. Everything I expected, but even more. Everyone should read it if you haven't already.

Rebecca, thank you for stopping by to share a bit of yourself with us. Your words on friendship are genuine and warm. I have learned many lessons the past 5 years going through a divorce, and falling in love again with my new husband. But the lessons I learned about friendship were life changing for me. There are those that can't be broken, no matter how hard you push. And, there are those that you carry around like a raw egg in an Easter basket, and it's never good enough. One extreme to the other. Not much different than 8th grade, you're right. =)

Take care to all ....

October 16, 2009 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

What wonderful comments from you guys, as usual! It looks like Rebecca struck a nerve with quite a few of us. :) And Lisa, I never "heard" you with a southern accent, but from now on I will. :)I second the thanks to Rebecca for stopping by...

October 16, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger princessapr said...

I know we've done this unofficially, but I have trouble connecting a name with a person because there's no actual visual. Can there be a post/entry where the Fireflies introduce themselves with some statistics (obviously nothing too specific for Internet safety but maybe region, family, first Kristin Hannah book (and favorite), just little things like that? Somewhere I can keep referring back to when I get everyone confused.

april (takes me a long time to remember names and faces but once I do, they're there forever)

October 18, 2009 at 9:14 PM  

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