Meagan and I sat at the table. Our kids played in a wild tangle around us. A few with plastic soldiers. A few with paper and crayons.
Meagan is a couple of decades my junior. It doesn’t matter. It’s a friendship that isn’t restrained by years.
We chatted about our husbands and kids and activities and lives.
After awhile, Meagan glanced to the porch.
“Hey, what are you going to do with the box of pears?” she asked.
“Pear jam. But it’ll take a million years. I haven’t had much time.”
“Why don’t we peel them now? Then they’ll be ready to go when you get an hour or two.”
“Really?” I asked.
My friend was already up, routed for the pears. “Really.”
Meagan and I plunked the box on the floor between us. We each pulled a paring knife from the block on the kitchen counter. The kids shifted. Changed activities. But we just sat. Shared. Peeled and peeled until my favorite big, green bowl heaped full.
Later that evening, after the kids were asleep, I stood and stirred a bubbling, copper-bottom stockpot of pears. An hour later, jam jars were filled. I arranged them in three rows. Three warm, gleaming rows of amber-colored jam.
I couldn’t wait to share the sweetness.
But the next morning, when the boys spooned the thick jam over fresh, warm bread, I thought of something even sweeter. I thought of the simple, unadorned joy of sitting with another woman, working together, sharing.
Hearts go deep when hands are helping.
There was something precious, still, and sweet in those hours. The coming-togetherness of task and friendship. Something, I’m sure, my grandmothers knew something about, as they raised their families. But it’s a blessing I’m often too busy to enjoy.
Thank you, God, for the simplicity of this task. Thank you for this heart-connection with another woman.
It was a tender goodness.
An unexpected pleasure I'll long want to preserve.