My friend

by | Aug 1, 2012 | Uncategorized | 11 comments

We met on the equator.

No land was in sight. Yet the crew of ‘The Fairsea’ knew exactly when we were to ‘cross the line’ and held a ceremony to mark the moment.

That’s when I saw her, a beautiful young bride, dancing with her new husband. She was aglow with love.
I wore my wedding dress. I wasn’t quite such a new bride, but still new enough to fit the dress perfectly.
She was immigrating to a new land, the land where her new husband had lived since he was seven years old. Many challenges lay ahead as she learned to master English, and adjust to a very different country.
We became friends, two couples who visited each other’s homes, camped together, attending a summer school and sharing a love of the arts.

Then something happened, a foolish disagreement, followed by a move to another city, and we lost contact.
Many years later, we found ourselves separated from the husbands with whom we had danced so freely across the equator. We also rediscovered our friendship.

Over forty years on, we keep in touch, even though we live in different cities. We phone each other regularly. Our husbands have both died, but we live on and have become even more ourselves. Not only do we hold the memory of our youth together, but we enjoy each other in the present. Long-lasting friendship is like good wine that has gained flavour and bouquet over the years.
My friend has just come to stay and the room still rings with our conversation and laughter.

When she left, she gave me her kete of woven flax. It holds a folder, my choir music, or a book just perfectly. As I swing it in my hand, I think of friendship and longevity, and think that maybe the equator is a lucky place to make a friend.


  1. Marja

    What a beautiful story. it sounds like a fairy tale about the specialness of friendship. The bag is gorgeous, a special present from a special friend

  2. Joan

    What a wonderful story . How precious are our female friends and friendships that span the years. The kete is like a touchstone that connects. I love the words.. have become even more ourselves. I love this time of my life when I know who I am.. and with no masks of pretence, just be me. Lovely thank you juliet, as always.

  3. Joan

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. lifeonthecutoff

    Oh, Juliet, this touched me so deeply today, bringing a few tears of joy to my eyes, especially as some very dear friends of 40 years will be coming to stay with us for a few days on Thursday. I taught with Jeri so long ago. I will hold her a little closer in a hug, and I will think of you, still young after all, dancing on the equator. Thank you for this gift today.

  5. juliet

    * Marja, yes it does sound like a fairy tale, and the kete is beautifully woven, really fine and even work. I love it.

    * Joan, it is a special time of life isn’t it? You know a lot about that too. All the trappings drop away and there we are, our own selves.

    * Penny, how wonderful that you have old friends about to visit. How precious they are. Yes, the memory of dancing on the equator, we hold that for each other, and see the young ones inside whenever we meet.

    Thank you Marja, Joan, and Penny for your heart-felt responses.

  6. Hotly Spiced

    That is so beautifully written Juliet. I’m so sorry to hear about your husbands. That is so sad they have both died. How wonderful though that you formed a lasting friendship. I love what you said about long-lasting friendships – I’ll drink to that! xx

  7. juliet

    Hi Charlie, we two friends seem to be the ones with the longevity, in many ways. My friend always introduces me as her ‘first friend in New Zealand’, and I feel very lucky. Thank you.

  8. Lynley

    How appropriate that you received a kete – woven so beautifully. It mirrors your special friendship – lovely linking patterns, some knotty bits but which carries on and carries much. Ketes hold treasures.

    Oh and the yellow tulips sing of sunshine and happiness.

  9. juliet

    Lynley, yes the kete is a perfect gift, with all of its associations, Thank you for your thoughts, most welcome.

  10. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet .. that’s great isn’t it – good to have that sort of relationship and being able to communicate as and when. Must have been lovely having her to stay too … and what a great gift – as you mention above ‘the kete’ looks so useful, yet pretty as it’s woven from flax …

    So pleased for you .. cheers Hilary

  11. juliet

    Hi Hilary, yes it’s special having such a friend, and I’m loving the kete, using it lots. Thanks for dropping by.


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