Old friends

Nuthatches are usually seen on the side of trees, facing downward. They can also walk on the underside of a branch. (Photo by Margie Williamson)

Our bird feeder was down for a couple of weeks and then it took several days for the birds to find it again. When they finally showed up, it felt like “old friends” had returned.

It’s interesting to me that I had that reaction. I’ve griped about these same birds as being common and boring. I’ve shared my frustrations that they weren’t more exciting–that they were just backyard birds that can be seen anywhere. But after an absence, I was so glad to see them. My “old friends” had returned.

Nuthatches are song birds with strong personalities. They’ve been described as “comic.” (Margie Williamson/Now Habersham)

I especially enjoyed watching the White-breasted Nuthatches for awhile, and I’ve focused on them in the photos I’ve included. They have such a cute personality that they’ve been described as “comic.”

Thinking about that got me started thinking about old friends in my life. I’ve been so blessed by the women who shared themselves with me over the years.

I thought about my college roommate Marty and college friends Brenda and Beverly. The four of us got together almost two years ago. We knew at the time that we probably wouldn’t see Beverly again because she had so many health issues. She passed away within a couple of months. But getting back together was like going back in time. We experienced friendship that had not changed in all the subsequent years. They’re dear “old friends.”

Nuthatches aren’t really friendly with other birds. The Chickadees will wait patiently for them to get done at the feeder before they get a chance to eat. (Margie Williamson/Now Habersham)

I thought about my friend Karen. We were golfing buddies, we both were curriculum writers, and we both taught conferences all over the southeast, often together. I saw Karen about two years ago and it was like nothing had changed. We laughed. We cried. We shared what had gone on in the twenty years since we’d seen each other. She’s still my dear “old friend.”

I thought about my friends Miki, Kay, and Lou Ann who have been prayer partners and travel partners for years now. They’ve brought joy and fun and support and love into my life in ways I hadn’t experienced before. Stupid COVID keeps us from getting together right now, but it doesn’t change the support we give to each other. They are dear “old friends.”

I thought about my friends Ann and June who were in one of my Bible studies at our last church. They’ve been such encouragers for me. When we left the church after Bob retired, I felt the loss deeply of them and others who had loved me so well and encouraged me so completely. They are special “old friends” who I hear from occasionally or I contact occasionally because I miss them in my life. I still thrive on their encouragement.

Old friends are a gift from God. I’m so grateful these “old bird friends” showed up to remind me of just how blessed I am.

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