The Glow of Friendship

Driving back from my friend’s house yesterday in the late afternoon I was lost in thought as I barrelled down the dual carriageway, bursts of rain hitting the windscreen and short, sharp gusts of wind buffeting against my car.

I find times like these quite therapeutic as I enjoy driving (although I have been known to have moments of road rage annoyance when someone tailgates me when I overtake on the fast lane – and I drive fast –  or takes an age to get their car moving when the traffic light turns green or cuts me up on a roundabout) and although the inclement weather didn’t make for perfect driving conditions, the Christmas music playing on Classic FM certainly helped.

Late afternoon was rapidly turning into evening, such are the short days of Winter.  A subtle darkening of the cloud-filled skies was just beginning to emerge when it was if God decided at the last minute before bedtime to paint the sky orange.   Not just any orange, but one that gave off such a warmth of sunset-light that it bathed everything inside my car, all around me and as far as my eye could see with it’s glorious hue.

I was overcome by the extraordinary touch of this ethereal light that seemed so suddenly to come out of nowhere, as if it wanted to grab a chance to say hello one last time before disappearing into the rapidly descending dark of night.

As if God was saying, ‘I’m here and always will be’.

Bathed in this burnt-orange glow for many long minutes I had to pull over, grab my mobile phone and take a photograph.

Glorious December Sunset in Somerset (c) copyright Sherri Matthews

Glorious December Sunset in Somerset
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews

Darkening December Sunset in Somerset (c) Sherri Matthews 2013

Darkening December Sunset in Somerset
(c) Sherri Matthews 2013

Alone with my thoughts, alone on that road, alone in that heavenly glow.  Missing friends, thankful for friends I have made since I returned to England ten years ago.   Remembering a quote that I have kept all these long years –

“Every close friendship offers the same fundamental thrill; someone has singled you out and chosen you, someone who had no obligation to do so.”

(Credit: Jenny Offill and Elissa Schappell)

Before the sun goes down on you and the night-dark prevails once again I hope that you are basked in the warmth and beauty of the glow of friendship and that you may know that you are never alone.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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63 Responses to The Glow of Friendship

  1. jennypellett says:

    Isn’t it wonderful how natural forces of nature can focus our creativity. That sunset looks fabulous. I had a similar experience recently on my way home from Christmas shopping in our local town: it was the kind of light you get before a major storm with a mackerel sky scudding into the bright pink distance. It was extraordinary and I resolved then to keep a camera in the car.

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    • Sherri says:

      I love mackerel skies! I so often see beautiful sights when driving but it isn’t always possible to stop. When I got my new mobile phone I forgot it had a camera as I don’t always remember to keep my camera on me so I’m really glad that I remembered this time and was able to find a pull off and take these shots!

      Like

      • Denise says:

        Look at you two with your mackerel skies and wonderful evocative posts of journeys home! Satisfying a great need for some colour in my life at this time of year – I am leaving in the dark and getting home in the dark and there is little in between. Thanks for capturing moments.

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        • Sherri says:

          Ahh, I’m so glad that you got to see some colour here Denise! You know, what is so wonderful is that when something stirs up such a joy and gratitude in my heart for the magnitude of this kind of natural beauty I just love being able to think, ‘I can’t wait to share this with my friends here’. I love that. There is no point in being blessed with moments like these and not being able to share them with others 🙂

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  2. What a beautiful colour!! I love the sky. I’m always gazing up, no matter what the weather or colour. It always holds beauty – even the dismal grey days. I see God in the sky, in the glorious light and in every single colour he paints it. We are never alone, you are quite right 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Me too Jennifer, I adore the sky and the majesty of the work of art portrayed in the vast myriad of subtle shades and hues displayed in God’s marvellous creation. Never fails to move me 🙂

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  3. Letizia says:

    What beautiful light! I love those moments when nature forces us to take pause. I love that you pulled over to take a photo, so great!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Letizia, yes, I was so glad that I remembered that my newish mobile phone has a camera! I just had to get the shot and so glad that I was able to pull over and get these. Nature is a powerful force that quite literally, at times such as these, takes my breath away 🙂

      Like

  4. I recall having been transfixed by a beautiful sunset when I was 10 years old. Beautiful post, Sherri.

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    • Sherri says:

      Some things we never forget, that childlike wonderment. Isn’t it incredible when we catch a glimpse of that same, albeit very fleeting, wonderment at moments like these? Thank you Nav 🙂

      Like

  5. Dylan Hearn says:

    Mother Nature never fails to impress. Glorious!

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  6. Life and Other Turbulence says:

    Beautiful! So glad you could pull over without traffic complications. I tried to grab a photo just a few evenings ago but traffic was so heavy in both directions, I wasn’t able to grab the shot. (It was a beautiful twilight sky spreading out across the bay. By the time I had a break in traffic to pull around, the vantage point was lost) Your mobile phone sure did capture the color magnificently!

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, thanks, it was fortunate that I was able to pull over in a lay-by. I was on a very busy road with trucks zooming by so I had to be careful as the lay-by was quite narrow. I was very pleased with how the pics turned out. My phone is a Samsung III.

      Like you, I’ve seen many beautiful vistas that I would love to capture but have had to miss the moment. Your twilight sky over the bay must have been spellbinding.

      Like

  7. Rachel says:

    That’s a great quote about friendship. Beautiful photos too.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Rachel, glad you enjoyed seeing these pics. I was so happy that they came out so well on my phone! I usually prefer to use my camera but from what I understand cameras on mobiles these days are as good if not better than some actual cameras. Things are changing!

      Yes, I’ve had that quote for many years and it never fails to inspire me.

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  8. The sky looks like it’s on fire. Extraordinary. Wow. What a photo moment. Great capture.

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  9. I’m amazed you got that beautiful of a shot on a camera phone! Beautiful photos, Sherri, and loved the sentiment.

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, I was amazed too Bev! As I was just commenting above to Rachel, it seems that cameras on mobile phones these days are every bit as good as some actual cameras these days. I’m still trying to get my head around that! So glad you enjoyed the end result, thank you 🙂

      Like

  10. Beautiful post, Sherri! I just love when God paints the sky with such glorious colors. For me, his timing is always perfect. Lovely photos! Have a wonderful evening!

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    • Sherri says:

      Isn’t it wonderful when that happens? God’s timing is indeed perfect. It was an incredible ‘moment’ and I was determined to capture it! Thank goodness that I recently changed to my new phone otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to as I didn’t have my camera on me. I am still getting used to the idea that I have a phone with a camera, I keep forgetting!

      Thanks so much Jill, and you have a wonderful evening/day/weekend too 🙂

      Like

  11. Rea says:

    The photos are wonderful. Good thing you were able to capture those and I like it that you were able to give sense to such an amazing sight. Happy holidays!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Rea, many thanks! So glad that you enjoyed seeing these photos. It was a most magnificent sight, I was very blessed by it and even more blessed to be able to share it here with everyone.

      Happy holidays to you too 🙂

      Like

  12. bulldog says:

    What a glorious sunset and a reminder, I find, to slow down and take in the beauty shown us everyday, Patients on the roads is becoming a necessity these days just for survival…

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks so much Bulldog. Yes, it was a most glorious sunset and it really spoke to my heart. I’ve seen many beautiful sights in the surrounding countryside and skyline when driving but there was something particularly moving about this sunset, and the timing of it too, such as it spoke to my heart.

      Patience is indeed needed, and I am not always so good at that when I’m driving. Got to have your wits about you, that’s for sure…

      Hope the editing is coming along well 🙂

      Like

  13. simplyilka says:

    Extremely beautiful post. And God is there and always will be 🙂 Thank you!

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  14. I absolutely love the way that you narrate a story Sherri. It makes me feel as if I’m right there with you. The sunset truly does look glorious, the colors are so brilliant and vivid. I truly love those moments in our life when we can step back and reflect. Friendship is such a gift and I think your quote captures it absolutely perfectly.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks so much Heather, I’m just so glad that you enjoy reading what I write, I am really honoured! It really is so wonderful when something extraordinary happens in the course of the day that causes us to pause and ponder a deeper meaning of what we are experiencing. This particular sunset certainly gave this to me on Friday 🙂

      Like

  15. Beautiful post, Sherri. The photographs were a perfect illustration of the ‘message’ you received. I’ve had those vivid, real moments when I knew without a doubt that God was there, and you described your experience is real, simple, heartfelt phrases.
    Wonderful!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Marylin, I love that you enjoyed reading this post and also looking at the photos! I was so pleased that I was able to capture the incredible colours as they scorched the skyline in this most exquisite way. In this instance, I was glad to have a smartphone with a good camera as in other ways I really miss my Motorola flip phone which I had for 7 years 😉

      Like

  16. thirdhandart says:

    Gorgeous photos Sherri! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your beautiful Somerset sunset. Such a wondrous sight has to be a gift from God.

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  17. Spectacular sky. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one quite like that. Friends are a real gift. Great quote.

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    • Sherri says:

      I’ve seen many sunsets before, as have we all, but this particular one was so incredibly beautiful and also so unexpected, it being about 4.30 on a winter’s afternoon and in the rain too! Thanks so much Irene 🙂

      Like

  18. Beautiful thought at the end 🙂

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  19. I really loved your thought of the day and the pictures. Thanks for reminding us about what really matters.

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  20. That sunset is unbelievable, how beautiful.

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  21. TBM says:

    A wonderful post. Nature has a way of speaking to me as well.

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  22. Lorraine Marie Reguly says:

    Such beauty those skies emit! 🙂 Love these pics!

    Good to see your road rage was curbed, too. 😉

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ha Ha! Thanks so much Lorraine!! I do get impatient when behind the wheel, I have to admit 😉
      Glad you enjoyed the pics, so glad that I was able to capture the beautiful sky at just that moment 🙂

      Like

  23. Can’t really add to all the posts-the sky was absolutely breath taking . And I have always loved that quote “Every close friendship offers the same fundamental thrill; someone has singled you out and chosen you, someone who had no obligation to do so.” I might add “Two are better than one!” Catch up with you soon dear friend. xoxoxo

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  24. Glad you caught the poetry in the sky and released it from your heart.

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  25. Sherri, I fear I sound like a Dumb American, but the light in England (when it shines) is the most exquisite I’ve encountered in my life. That picture is lovely.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Andra, and you are right…you ARE American but you are most certainly NOT dumb!!!!!!

      It’s really interesting what you say about the light being different in England. Funny, because I often thought that but always put it down to the fact that I had lived in California so long and I was always so enthralled by the ‘big sky’ country there and that was why I noticed the difference when I came back ‘home’. Yet, even now, 10 years later, I still notice it… 🙂

      Like

  26. Beautiful photos Sherri, but I love the sense of tranquillity and poignancy in your post and the thoughts the quote inspires. We’ve been travelling a lot in the past two weeks after a close family member died and this post gave me a sense of comfort.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh I’m so very sorry to hear the loss of your close relative Andrea, please know that my thoughts are with you and your family. I am so gladdened of heart to know that this post blessed you in this way, bringing some measure of comfort at a difficult time.

      Like

  27. Breath taking Sherri. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  28. A really uplifting and beautifful post, Sherri. The gorgeous sunset photos are a bonus. 🙂

    Like

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