in my pocket.
Certain days life feels a little harder than it should. On these days the carefree Summer of my dreams blurs into one mired in worry over illness and fatigue.
Mama said there'll be days like this.
Yet, just as swiftly as sunlight sweeps through June and into July, they'll leave again. Of this I'm sure.
I met with some friends a few weekends ago, and it did my soul some good.
The stars aligned and the air fell just right. And we had coffee. and giggled.
It wasn't about what someone needed. It wasn't about helping or obligation or watching the clock out of the corner of my eye.
It was just for me, and I guess that's allowed sometimes. So, I basked. I reveled. I did not take a single picture, mostly because there was more beauty than I could handle, and because the light kept shifting around. It begged to be captured. My mind wasn't enough for the memorizing. Still, I landed somewhere out in the deep end, and I decided to stay. Because these are some of my people. They are newish additions and half of my youth. They helped shape me and encourage me.
They dole out the love and don't bat an eye when I keep going back for more.
They love me. I love them back. We stayed until the sun hiked up past the edges. We stayed 'til the coffee kicked in like it meant it. We stayed while the air thrummed then hushed with the sound of our laughter, our shadows casting love on the walls.
We stayed while the music slowed and the cups drained. We stayed because all of us, each one of us, needed that morning. We needed it then and we need it even more now. Because as Reunion 45 winds up, this is a memory we'll carry with us. forever.
There will be a next time and it might involve sweatpants, under-eye circles, and caramel macchiatos. We'll hold it just as fiercely as the fancy, seeing the wonder in the simple and abundant gift of friendship, the coming together of all different hearts to walk together through all our come-what-mays.
In the meantime, I will cherish the gifts as they are handed to me.
I will wrap my heart around them, memorize their shape, stow them safely in my pocket.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (1 medium)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" metal loaf pan. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and walnuts.
2. In medium bowl, with whisk or fork, mix eggs, oil, zucchini, and orange peel. Stir zucchini mixture into flour mixture just until flour is moistened.
3. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.