One of things that we were talking about is what a picture of a "safe place" is for us (prompted by a book I've been reading about trauma treatment and the need to help people find a "safe place" in themselves to go to when they are going beyond what they are well able to handle as they are facing the trauma in their lives). One such picture for me is a lovely night I had in Sydney during my holiday with two of the readers of this blog. In a sense there was nothing special about this night. At another level it was literally heaven on earth. It was a night with two of the people who have journeyed much life with me and who accept me deeply for who I am and I likewise (and have for almost 20 years). None of us now live in Sydney so it was a night that was special because we certainly can't do it every week - one lives in Canada, one in country NSW, and I'm in Melbourne. We're also at somewhat different life stages so it was a gift that on many occasions would have been more difficult to have happen - and so we were especially thankful for one of our mum's who looked after another one of our toddlers. There was gift from people other than us for this night to be what it was - of this we were deeply grateful. So that's the setting for this night.
The night itself was at a restaurant which I really wanted to go to and hadn't been to for years in Darling Harbour. The environment and food was great (for me, garlic snails, kangaroo and creme caramel with a glass of pinot from NZ). We wandered through Darling Harbour and around to King St Wharf and found a place we liked (recognising thoroughly our age by the places we were avoiding!!!) for a cocktail. Now the environment, the food and the alcohol were all great - but the specialest thing about this night was gentle presence with good long term, life-giving people. You can't trade that for the world.
And I realise that even a night a year ago with these same people, in the same setting, with the same circumstances wouldn't have been as close to "heaven on earth" as this night was for me because of the difference in me! I was able to deeply enter into this night in a way I have never been able to before. There is deep freedom in me to be present and enter in and enjoy - I can't say how delightful it is.
So deep thanks to God who was and is and will be present, bringing life of all kinds into being. And deep thanks to special friends who journey life together - be it over distance much of the time.