Love is the whole thing. We are only pieces.


Lifelong friendship with a group of folk is like a good marriage. The only mandate in gathering together is to bunch the whole self, both young chick and old hen, and then commence to love and be loved.

But you are just una baya on this plant. Your Mother told you that enduring friendships had advantages – as many as the fingers on the hand of a banana plant.

The others knew your finger when it was small and unmarked. They barely know you now as the eclectic variety that you have become, and yet sum total devotion to the cluster blesses the plant that binds.

When composed together, a smattering of breakout chats spill over to serve the changes that have altered each branding. And still comprehension of the other is confined for the berry brood is not accessible to the others’ lives each flowing with joy and trauma back home.

But all the while important branches form when each one shows up for the others in ways to mark life altering occasions. The young chick will chirp, “it ain’t so,” yet the old hen nods to yet another batch of surprises and honors the realm of banana tree life especially the variety thriving in our Mississippi genesis.

When together bringing the whole bunch up to date on current topics, it’s never possible to scratch the baya covering, even when you are vaguely clued in to all that has happened. Sadness lingers for not knowing more about the kindred’s day to day journey.

It’s impossible to corral the words that spill out to old friends after being penned up for too long. Some come out in a blast and are too inane to suit the delicate spiritual habitat of the moment. The poetry of life goes where it goes when unlatched in comfort. So be it.

Maybe you’ll organize your thoughts next time and bring a list of questions like how did you do it or what made you change your mind or what plans do you have for the non stop future because now you understand that time together is limited and fleeting.

Meanwhile you are grateful for the gracious one who invented the almost perfect attendance of the grown up facsimile which stemmed from a carefree ensemble she keeps calling back to hang.

In truth it is not the reunion itself that keeps giving instruction to the contours of life, but the excavation of people you have known over a lifetime which sits in the corner of your mind like the banoffee pie, a mixture of bananas, cream and dulce de leche and delights with its variegated flavors.

Resources like these awaken you on how to manage the stuff that might come your way. Or maybe the riches have been there all along, because you realize the other fruitlets have been your allies longer than they have pledged a personal credo.

When you are back home you consider the mental filing cabinets labeled with names of the old amigas and are relieved that they have been updated. You note those prized sources are yellow with time yet budding with the outcomes of choices made, some in fear and some heartened by undaunted opportunity. They each contribute to the complex and exquisite composite of what is needed for a plant to grow.

Because of this friendship’s longevity you can count on the extraordinarily deep roots which bind you to it because over time, as Zora Neale Hurston once said, “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”

And it turns out that is exactly what was needed for the flowering berry that you are and for the handy plant that you long to be.