On June 4, 1981, a warm sunny California, a group of friends and I celebrated our high school graduation by staying out all night. At some point during the night, one or another of us had the bright idea to head from Vallejo into San Francisco to watch the sunrise.

Lisa, the one in the bunch who’d been born and raised primarily in New Hampshire tried to explain, even insisted, that watching the sunrise on the west coast made little sense. “The sun rises in the east!”

To Lisa’s chagrin, we drove into the city and straight for a beach to anticipate what we thought would be a beautiful moment representing our new day – life beyond high school and all the possibilities the moment held.

Needless to say, the cold foggy dampness of the San Francisco coastline that June 5th did not greet us with the beautiful sunrise we’d hoped – just as Lisa had rightly insisted.

As life happens, my friends and I stayed in touch to varying degrees through the years.

But Lisa and I, who’d remained particularly close for another five years after graduation, at some point lost touch completely. About three years ago, through social media, Lisa and I reconnected – only to find out that Lisa lived in the New Hampshire town just next to where my daughter would be attending high school! Serendipity!

In the last few years, Lisa and her wife Sylvie have been kind enough to host me often when I come into town to see my daughter – and we’ve moved wonderfully from reminiscing to creating a new level of friendship.

Yesterday we spent a few hours conditioning soil and planting herbs, flowers, and edibles in their garden.


This morning, two days shy of 37 years later – in one of those moments where past and future collide into the present, Sylvie joined Lisa and I as we drove to Jenness Beach on the east coast, to watch the beautiful sunrise.

As we hunted for beach glass, chatted about our bucket lists, and admired their someday dream house on the beach, I couldn’t help but appreciate the beauty of friendships – constant, broken and renewed – ever changing.


Midlife, for me, has been a time of letting go of relationships that no longer nourish and nurture, and developing new ones that lead to each friend finding peace, being content, and sharing joy.






  1. What a beautifully written post, Janet. I love how you tie the past and the future together in the present, and how different locations make up a part of this sunrise piece. Respecting nature is one of the joys of being out and about, and having time to reflect characterizes midlife happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Liesbet. I’ve always loved sunrise but as a night owl seldom get up early enough to enough one. I’m sure you’ve seen far more on your travels, but my other ‘sunrise’ memory involved a climb up Mt. Sinai in the dark to watch the sunrise. Also beautiful!


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