"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury and refinement rather than fashion...to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony": William Ellery Channing.
Twice over the holidays just past, I've felt what Channing calls the "spiritual...growing up through the common" while spending a lot of comfortable, unhurried time with good friends. What a gift it is being with people who bring out the best in me. Which of your friends does this for you?
What makes these recent situations even more special is how much I enjoy both people from each of these two partnerships. Between the day after Christmas and New Year's Eve, I batted four for four. Then, further sweetening the pot was my wife's company.
Although the first part of Channing's formulation has always had a concrete appeal to me, the symphony he conjures is more than a metaphor for me today. The time with these four friends shared a magic similar to what music brings to my life.