Wish Boxes, Friends, and Joni Mitchell

The little greeter at Beth's house
The jolly greeter at Beth’s house

On Sunday, I traveled  north to visit my friend Beth. Along with two other friends, I was invited for lunch and to work on a craft project—wish boxes. This was a gathering I had looked forward to all week long, and even though I didn’t know the two other women, I was certain that friends of Beth would soon be friends of mine.

How right I was. Within minutes we were all chatting like old friends, and the comment was made, “We are now new best friends.”

After talking for a bit, we settled around Beth’s dining room table to make wish boxes. Beth had sprayed matchboxes silver and gold. She also provided pretty paper, ribbons, glitter, stars, hearts, little flowers, and various other little decorations for our wish boxes. The chatting ebbed as we focused on making our wish boxes.

When we were done, we put them together for a group picture.


We were all pleased with our small creations, and I’ll be thinking of what little messages to put in my two boxes—the ones with hearts and stars in the upper left corner.

After we cleared up the craft materials, we had a lovely lunch that Beth had made for us—squash soup; zucchini bread; a carrot, coconut, and cashew salad; and various spreads. I brought an apple crisp, which we popped in the oven just before we sat down to eat our lunch.

John, Beth’s husband joined us, and there was more talk. When five kindred spirits get together, the conversation just flows.

The day had started rainy and gray, but as I headed home, the weather began to clear. The clouds skudded across the sky to reveal a deep blue. I listened to Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark and was transported to my senior year in high school when I was in the throes of unrequited love. So much time has passed—over forty years—that the pain has been replaced by a pleasant melancholy as I remembered the longing.

The teenage years are such a tumultuous time. Every emotion is felt so deeply, so intensely. Then there is the awkwardness.  I remember saying what I shouldn’t have and not saying what I should have.  Literature, writing, and love swirled through me in a rough mix, and I am now old enough to look back with sympathy on the foolish girl I was. (The line from an R.E.M. song comes to mind: “I’ve said too much. I haven’t said enough.”)

All in all, Sunday was a special kind of day. Old friends, new friends, good food, good talk, a craft project, and a trip back in time on the way home as I listened to Joni Mitchell.

Who could ask for anything more?

A bird in Beth’s garden

14 thoughts on “Wish Boxes, Friends, and Joni Mitchell”

  1. ‘the chatting ebbed as we focused……..’ Lovely – I can just see your intense concentration with your tongues poking from between your teeth. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Eliza! They were fun to make. A friend has suggested that a little found treasure such as a special rock or a piece of sea glass would be nice to tuck into the boxes.

  2. Beautifully written. I too now look back sympathetically on the sensitive brooding teenager I was, sitting in the dark listening to the same album over and over. When I hear that music now it reminds me of those days, but in the light of the wisdom that we’ve earned at this age and that colors those memories for us.

    1. Thanks, Bill! The moodiness and sensitivity come with the territory, I know. It sure isn’t easy being a teenager.

    1. Judy, it was a wonderful day. Somehow teenage years, especially our generation’s, seemed to involve lifting the record changer and listening over and over to the same album. What is amazing to me is that I pretty much remember the lyrics to all the songs on “Court and Spark.”

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