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I’ve drifted away from friends in the last couple of years, too caught up in my own world and life to keep in touch.  It’s sadly how I seem to cope with things in my life.  But, with today’s first harvest celebration being upon us for this year, I think I shall try harder to not pull away, to not be like a hermit-crab and hide in my shell when things are “scary”.

Over the last couple of years, the few friends I have kept contact with are mainly overseas, and at least one of them “found” me again after over a decade of being “lost” to each other.  And it was as if we’d been in touch regularly when she did locate me (via Facebook of all things!).  And, it’s turned out that she’s one of the few friends I feel I can really be honest with, and tell anything to by virtue of her experiencing similar situations.  Nothing like experienced advice. And her daughter is one of the sweetest young ladies on the planet.  So there.  I said so, it’s true.

Another friend is one whom I made over the last 5 years or so, and has turned into the nearest thing to a sister to me – and simply because we share a belief system and I wasn’t going to judge her on her life-choices.  Who am I to do so?  It’s her life.  And again, we talk about everything and anything like sisters would.  It’s a novel thing for me, but one that is enjoyable and necessary I think.

Overseas Friend number 3 is one I made via a connection through Witchvox.com, back when she was coming to NZ to live, and she was wanting to make contact with others of like mind and thought.  I don’t regret stepping outside my comfort zone to go meet her that day at the local shopping mall, and I will never regret the bag of ‘spare’ witchy supplies that I took along as a welcome to NZ gift.  She’s returned that gift multiple-fold over the last few years, with her blunt and pithy advice, her capacity to sum up situations in my life in a couple of words and by simply prodding me to look at things in the emotional light they should be viewed in.  Nothing beats righteous anger and a few F-words as therapy.  She too has a couple of the cutest kids on the planet.  So there.  I say so, it’s true.

All in all, my 3 Best Friends Overseas (3BFOs) are like the sisters I didn’t have.  As well as being my friends.  They’ve been incredibly supportive, caring, loving and have all prodded me to a sense of self-respect and self-examination that I think no-one else has or can.

Then, there’s the Best Friends Local (BFLs).  The friends I’ve made via our Witches Brew meetings, who’ve become like a family to me as well as friends.  I think I rely on them to be more like family than friends, which is perhaps a little unfair of me?   It’s hard being alone in a new place, and when things went sour with the married-into family, it would be natural for me to turn to my friends to be my family, wouldn’t it?  I’m not excusing or finding reasons, I’m indicating that I’m aware of it.
In doing so, I’m perhaps creating unreasonable expectations for them as well, and then when they don’t live up to the expectations – unaware of them as they are – I get hurt and a little angry and start reacting as I do with the family I’m not on good terms with.   Which turns me into that hermit crab I spoke of at the beginning.

It’s Lammas, the first harvest of the seasons, and a time to give thanks for the gifts thus far, and to remember those that aren’t as lucky.  I give thanks for my husband, his love, his care and his indefatigable (I had to use it Rosemary, it’s such a GREAT word LOL!) tolerance; I give thanks for my Mum; I give thanks for my 3BFOs and the BFLs;  I give thanks for the lessons in tolerance and patience I’m learning *wry expression* and I give thanks for the fact we didn’t get flooding or even remotely threatened by it.  However if the earthquakes and volcanic activity continue around the planet, I’m not denying the chance of tsunami!
For the people in the world that have no sense of humour, who take offence at everything, who have no joy, I send blessings and hope that one day you will find those things.  For the people in the world struggling with pressures unimaginable, knowledge that it won’t change and no hope for the future, I send blessings and love along with the fervent wish things DO change for the better.  For the people in the world who have lost everything to Nature’s reminder that She’s in charge, I send blessings and a wish that nothing further occurs to mar their already low situations.  To the people without food, in war zones and who have no choice but to risk life to protest for better conditions, I send blessings, strength and hope for peace, food and the right to make a choice.

Now, to mix my pantheons ever further…I wish all a happy Chinese New Year, may the year of the Iron Rabbit bring hope, joy, humour, love, peace, food, stability and only good things!

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