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Sparkle and Nonsense

Relationships are the most fascinating things on earth to observe in my opinion. Look at any set of friends--any couple--and you will see tongue and groove, hand and glove--puzzle pieces fitting each other almost perfectly. The differences remind me of the prickles on Velcro--they are what make us stick together. If we were all smooth, shiny and identical we would merely stand side by side with nothing to grip, stick, or lock on to. How boring that would be!

Of course those differences can sometimes--well--prickle. The qualities that drew us, caught our admiration and fascinated us with their "otherness," can, in the right set of circumstances, drive us absolutely crazy. Happiness lies in remembering that we were meant to be different--to complement one another.

I started thinking about all of this as I remembered a conversation that took place on one of our trips back to England to visit family and friends.

Paul and I have two dear friends in England who are like family to us. He is a gregarious Yorkshire man with auburn hair, perceptive brown eyes and a lean, lanky body. His mind is quick and physically he is full of pent up, restless energy. She is soft, plump, fair of skin, with pale blue eyes and a halo of curly light blonde hair that defies taming. Although once you know her, you know she has a tender heart and ready laugh--at first impression she might seem brisk, forthright and very serious.

Paul was telling them what he had bought to bring back to Canada for our God-children; Jacob, Summer and Eden. Paul and I have different ideas of what to buy for gifts--I tend towards gifts that inspire thinking--sensible, lasting gifts. Paul is the totally impractical "spoiler." Deep down I think that kids like his gifts best!

On this occasion he said he had bought something practical but, he added, "I'll get them a bit of sparkle and nonsense too."

My friend said breezily in her clipped, British accent that sounds more like the Queen than the Queen, "Well! Don't we all need a bit of sparkle and nonsense?"

"My dear," said her husband, "In all the years I've known you, I've never thought of you as someone with "sparkle and nonsense." Sparkle maybe--but no nonsense!"

I think that God was laughing at that moment. I wonder if he takes time off from all of the cares of the world sometimes and just laughs at us all--in a good way-- as we figure out how to make it work--how to get along and love each other--all of us so different.

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