a good starter

Daily Notes, From the Editor
(650 words)

I have been missing my dear girlfriend who moved away nearly one year ago like the desert misses rain. We had a phone call yesterday and it felt good to say this to her and to hear it back.

Our friendship started several years ago in a series of hit-and-miss scenes straight out of a romantic comedy. There was the meet-cute in a yoga studio, the run-in at a salon one year later, followed by (finally) our first date where I fell in friend-love with her...just as she was telling me she planned to move to San Francisco in a month. I was devastated. But the cosmos intervened, she met her now-husband in the following weeks (hallelujah!) so she never did move away.

Until last year, when they did.

There is beauty in missing her.

It is not a grasping kind of feeling, not desperate or dramatic. I have never felt any sort of unspoken expectation or jealousy lingering around the edges of this friendship. She is a woman who has done her work. Missing her feels more like the cosmos gently saying, "See how exquisite love feels in your heart?"

"I miss you so much," I told her. "There is no one else like you here, and I actually feel quite sorry for myself about it sometimes," I laughed, but I was also serious. "I know," she nodded with her wide smile of a voice.

I thought about it for awhile after we hung up the phone. How rare and precious a good friendship feels. My heart bursts with happiness when she has good news and softens with appreciation when I hear her voice mirroring me from the other side of the continent. She knows how and when to encourage me: unflinchingly, without hesitation or excess. She simply says "yes" in a deep tone that is solid, grounded, reasoned and true.

She introduced me to another of her girlfriends a few years ago who also lives a long way from Seattle.

“I want you to meet her,” she told me. “I think you two would like each other.”

There is something refreshing and clean about a woman who will share one dear friend with another in this way. I'm not talking about sharing acquaintances or casual friends. I'm talking about sharing FRIENDS. The good ones. Those who are special. Those who light up our inner worlds and make us feel at home.

Her friend bakes delicious things that make me drool and posts them sometimes on Instagram. I have been flirting with her there. She recently shared a picture of her sourdough starter and the gorgeous loaf of bread it produced. When I asked about it, she sent me a long, humorous letter with perfect instructions for how to not only create a starter, but how to nurture it, how to be patient, how to feed it, and eventually bake a gorgeous loaf of bread.

She said, "Why go to all this trouble? The flavor of the bread, even if I'm not getting the texture totally right, is so much better than all other bread. It's amazing, complex, and wonderful. It doesn't weigh down my belly or make me feel too full after I eat it like commercial yeast bread does. Also, you feel like a badass."

Friendship is like this, I realized. We start with a container, we mix simple ingredients like flour and water, love and curiosity. We are patient. When the starter bubbles we feed it. We give it room to grow. And when it is established and has fed our hearts, we share a little bit, thereby inviting even more magic from what we have started.

I made a sourdough starter yesterday. I think it is going to be good. Maybe I can share some with you, when the time is right.


Laura Lowery is the founder, editor and publisher of Lucia. She does her best to lead a creative life. Whether triumphant or stumbling, Laura shares daily notes (that are often weekly) here on luciajournal, including stories, behind-the-scenes happenings, little doses of inspiration, and large quantities of curiosity and heart. She is pleased to meet you.