Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Day 20: Sweet Jane

When it comes to treasures of the heart, Jane has her own compartment in my jewelry box. And yet this is a woman who should not be - cannot be - compartmentalized.

Jane and I met in 1992 at Carswell and we slowly started to get to know each other. At first I was rather intimidated by her - she is someone of great erudition, of wide-ranging interests and of intensely felt passions.

But then one day I felt at a loss and desperately needed a friend and there was Jane, arm around my shoulder, mug of tea at the ready, willing to take on the foe for me.

We have laughed together and cried together -- Immortal Beloved and Shadowlands and layoffs and new prospects and weddings and funerals. She's a gifted writer and a talented editor. She doesn't suffer fools gladly, but she will drop everything to help someone in need. She can play the bagpipes and sing alto in Handel's Messiah. She's a voracious reader and a competitive lawn bowler. She is true to herself.

Sometimes we don't speak for a few months, due to the divergent paths our lives have traversed; but when we do, it's like no time has passed. A month or so ago we managed to get together in Victoria for a lovely couple of afternoons that involved livestock, a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, good strong coffee and free snacks, second-hand bookshops and the weekly farmers' market where I got to meet the woman who created the bracelet Jane is wearing in the picture. And, of course, there was a trip to a kitchen store. Jane is one of the people who opened my eyes and my palate to the wonders of off-the-beaten-track flavours in cooking and eating.

Jane is a confidante, a friend, a counsellor, a pick-me-up; when she is enthusiastic about something, she makes those around her want to discover it for themselves too.

And so many times it has been Jane there for me -- even two weeks ago today, as I was standing in the TH kitchen feeling at a loss and desperately needing a friend, my cell phone rang and it was Jane, calling from Victoria: "How are you?"

How did she know? How does she always know? All I know is that she was once again there with a shoulder, words of comfort and counsel. That phone conversation helped me make it through the rest of the week and through Thanksgiving at the TH.

"Anyone who's ever had a heart wouldn't turn around and break it
And anyone who's ever played a part wouldn't turn around and hate it

Anyone who's ever had a dream, anyone who's ever played a part
Anyone who's ever been lonely, and anyone who's ever split apart ..."

Sweet sweet Jane, indeed.


  1. A rainbow friendship - brightens the horizon and reveals unbreakable promise - heaven's smile-shaped reflection!

  2. Oh, great, now I'm in TEARS. Phew. I'm humbled and honoured and, for once, at a loss for words.
    Thanks, and love,


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