By Judith Ashley

This past week I spend several days with friends from Arizona and Texas along The Oregon Coast. We may talk for an hour every Tuesday but it had been 2012 since we last spent time together.

Not only did we talk and talk and talk, we had quiet time where we just watched the waves roll in. I saw whales spouting and a pair of pelicans as well as numerous seagulls. The majesty of the Pacific Ocean was inspiring. With great reluctance we left and are now each caught up in the day-to-day tasks of our every day life.

What I learned for myself as I drove away is

1. I’ve really been pushing myself to get my seven book series written and published. (#5 will be available in early June).

2. While I love my writing and still feel compelled to tell these stories, I need to find a different writing pace, one that does not compromise my health.

3. Spending time with friends away from the hustle and bustle of every day life is critical to my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

4. Life, or at least my life, is about finding and maintaining balance and realizing that as time passes the balance between different elements in my life change which means I’m no longer in balance until I shift.

5. I don’t spend as much time around water (ocean falls, rivers) as my spirit would like.

How does that fit with the month of May?

I’m visiting with my friend, Judith for just over two weeks. We’ve been friends for thirty-five years and met at a William Glasser Institute Conference in Houston, TX. I’m sure we’ll take walks in a near-by park, spend time along the river as well as reminisce about our 35 years of adventures. (Remind me to tell you the cockroach story). We’ll listen to cassette tapes of Croatian musicians and singers and remember our trip there during the Balkan War as well as another one shortly thereafter.

My cousin from California will be visiting with me over Memorial Day Weekend. I expect we’ll go to Riverview Abbey and take flowers to our grandparents’ graves, maybe drive up the Columbia River Gorge to see Multnomah Fall if not take the old highway and stop at several of the others. We’ll also talk about a Rawson Family Reunion – the big one is celebrating 100 years in Rawsonville, Vermont in August! I suggested our branch (there are surviving children from 4 of the previous generation) celebrate here in Portland that same weekend. Only 5 cousins live any real distance away.

Before June 1 comes, I hope to spend at least a few hours with my VBF of over 40 years. Due to many different challenges, we’ve not seen each other face-to-face since January.

Friendships whether with family or others is an integral and important part of our lives. What are your plans to spend time with friends in May? What do you like to do with your VBF?

PS: I’m recycling posts from much earlier in this blogs history over the next two weeks and will share more thoughts about friends on the 25th. 

Judith is the author of The Sacred Womens Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance. You can learn more about Judith and her books at