Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Enter: The New World Celts of Dunedin

About relationships.

One thing I know for certain about that- and that is this. There are absolutely no guarantees.

There may be a few exceptions to that blanket statement – such as a loyal, loving, stupid dog.  My dog is 11 years old and every day when I walk in the door he acts as though he can’t believe I came back. It’s the most amazing thing.

Children might be another exception. There are guarantees with kids – they need you to help them learn balance on their feet and on their bikes - guaranteed. They are guaranteed to lose the very teeth we were amazed to see appear just a few short years ago. They are guaranteed to cost you money and break your heart. And the best.....they are absolutely guaranteed to make you laugh out loud on a regular basis if you are paying close enough attention.

But in relationships of the opposite sex or of friends or family – there are absolutely no guarantees.

You are not guaranteed a date to the prom.
You are not guaranteed that someone will keep the promises they make.
You are not guaranteed that you won’t make a fool of yourself at least once in your life with someone of the opposite sex. In fact…that is a guarantee.
And as much as you want it – you are not guaranteed that the person you are sharing your heart with right now will be there this time next year. So lap it up.

And there are no guarantees of deep and lasting friendships.
No guarantees that people will just love you in your raw, natural “this is who I am” state for the rest of your life.

It would be great if when we were born, along with birth certificate came a “Certificate of Guarantee.” If I were given the opportunity to have just one guarantee presented to me in my lifetime –just one – it would be this. “Joyce is hereby guaranteed the gift of loyal, lasting, meaningful friendships for the rest of her life”

You may be wondering why I didn’t ask for a guarantee of health, wealth, love, etc.
Well here’s why.

With a guarantee of health, that would be great – but in my excellent health I would want someone to celebrate with me when we reach the peak of Mount Everest together.

In the case of wealth and the accumulation of “things”…again, what fun would jetting to the South of France be without honest friends to tell you how bad you look in the skimpy Marc Jacob dress or that the very cute Frenchman is not really attracted to your personality after all.

And in the case of love…well….if there were guarantees in love then where would the mystery be? Mystery is the best part of love after all.

Nope, I would want friends.

Friends that make me laugh and laugh with me. 
Friends that don’t ask questions when I don’t quite know the answers. 
Friends who don’t point out my flaws without sharing theirs. 
Friends that tell me I’m being stupid or petty when I need to hear it. 
Friends that show up at my door unexpectedly with a bottle of wine and their company because they know I need it. 
Friends who challenge me beyond my limits. 
Friends that don’t accept mediocrity in me. 
Friends that don't walk away when life dishes out ugly.
Friends that understand when I need silence and are content to be silent. 
Friends that appreciate my cynical humor. 
Friends that say I sing beautifully.
Friends that, when they don’t know what to say…say nothing.

I have been blessed to have friends like this in my life. Some I’ve had for over 20 years and some are newly acquired. 

It’s the newly acquired friends that have me totally stumped and astonished. I didn’t go looking for them, but rather stumbled upon them quite by accident. I didn’t anticipate that they would move into my heart so quickly. I didn’t anticipate they would accept me for just me.

And while there may not be any guarantees in friendship, for me – this group of friends brings all kinds of comfort that just a few months ago I really didn’t think existed.

And they are a group of characters. Each one unique and beautiful,  The Dunedin Celts of the New World. 

Love that you found me when I needed you.
Love that you included me with no questions or expectations.
Love that you love each other without boundaries or walls.
Love that you are my friends.
Love that in a life with very little guarantees in the way of relationships that I am guaranteed a place at your table.
Love that.
Mike and Scott standing guard for Celtic Women when they came to Clearwater

Anne and her Tara Tartan
Mary (President of Dunedin NWC) and Emmet