Monday, March 10, 2014

It was in the Hugging

I spent last weekend in Las Vegas with eleven of my favorite women.
I wish it could have been all of my favorite women.
But I'll take what I can get.
We live in 7 different states across the country,
but one thing brought us back together:
our cherished North Carolina book club.

It was the hugging that got me.
The type of hugging that wraps you so tightly in the arms of a friend that you realize, as your lungs empty in laughter when you break, that you had been holding your breath.
The type of hugging that wraps your hearts and souls together again, and you feel that that embrace remains fiercely strong long after you break. 
The type of hugging that comes at the end of a long separation and wordlessly says it's been too long.  How I've missed you!

It was the laughing that got me.
The kind of laughing that sheds the barnacles of worry from your gut.  That fills your lungs with friendship.
That leaves your cheeks sore and tingly in a way you'd forgotten.
The type of laughing that ends up so intense that all sound is scared away from your vocal chords, and you can do nothing else but lock eyes with a face contorted in a way that you know mirrors your own.

It was the conversation that got me.
The conversations that pull out your truest feelings; feelings you were happy to discover in yourself; or interested to discover in yourself, anyway.
Conversations that shine a light into the soul of a friend, and leave you with even more love for them; because true love can only come when you know someone as they truly are.
Conversations that have no emotional boundaries. Tell me about your happy.  Tell me about your sad. Tell me about your fears, and your stresses, and your beauty.  And I'll share with you about mine.

It was the similarity that got me.
We are mothers.  We are wives.  We love Jesus Christ.  We vacationed in Vegas, but we do not gamble.  We do not smoke, or drink alcohol.
Our similarity is so strong that it was effortless to dismiss the advice of our cashier that we simply must go to a strip club once in our lives, with a flick of our hands, a chuckle, and a phrase: we are good little Mormon girls.  Never a moment of indecision or desire.  Never a discussion.
We know.
A similarity that stitches our souls together in layers of understanding.

It was the difference that got me.
The difference that wraps one friend in a love of art, and blesses our weekend with an art exhibition that was simply unforgettable.
The difference that wraps one friend in a love of fine food, and blesses our weekend with a chocolate factory that serves such delicious hot chocolate that I feel my life has been changed forever.
The difference that wraps one friend in a gift of hospitality, and blesses our weekend with fresh flowers, clean sheets, dusted shelves, borrowed furniture, and a travel basket full of anything we may have forgotten.
The difference that wraps one friend in a love of laughter, another in a love of conversation, and yet another in a love of exercise, and on and on and on... 
The differences that wrap us all in something unique.  Something special.  Something to give.  Something to share. 
Which makes so much to receive.

It was the beauty that got me.
The beauty of the Vegas mountains, yes.
The beauty of the playful clouds, yes.
The beauty of the clean streets, the textured buildings, and the manicured yards, yes, yes, and yes.
But as I flew back over the country to my home I was surprised to find that, though I had been so focused on finding the natural beauty in that desert, the most meaningful beauty that I found was in the hearts of my friends.
It was the love.
It was in our similarities and our differences.  It was in the conversations and the laughter.

It was in the hugging.


  1. And that love will come with you anywhere and everywhere :). So glad we made that happen- still smiling from the memories.

    1. I love that it will... in fact, I think that's what I love most about it. :) It makes the whole country seem a little smaller, you know?

  2. Love this. Friends like these are some of our greatest gifts in this life...with (I think) a promise of more to come!

    1. I agree... relationships and friendships are so meaningful they *must* be part of forever, right?

  3. Beautiful words Lindsay, to describe a beautiful weekend. :) and <3

    1. if only every weekend could be a Vegas vacation weekend!

  4. Simply lovely. (And I can't wait to have that hot chocolate with you!) So much to discover and so many adventures ahead.

    Okay, now I am crying because I love you so much and I just am so happy to be near you again.

    1. I will take you there as soon as possible... you will die, it's so good. And then, since we'll be so close, we'll go again and again and again. :)

  5. Thanks again for getting me to go! Love you!