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My Friend My Patient My Love
By Rose M. Schreiber

(Page 1 of 3)

My friend is a tall stately gal - six foot to be exact.  Her love is the game of golf and she teaches me all the facets of it.  Soon, I too, begin to love the game, the camaraderie with my friend and with our fellow golfers. She swings a golf club like a soft feather, blowing in the wind - her body so straight, upright and graceful.  The ball goes flying down the middle of the fairway, rolls end over end until it stops - and I say "nice drive".  She just looks at me and smiles.  She doesn't say "yes, it was a good hit" she just takes the compliment inside and nods.  She then proceeds down the fairway after the little white ball - walking as if she were in a dance - graceful and in time with all of nature.  She stops to say "hello" to a bird that is eating his worm for breakfast.  (It's spring and the robins are back in town.)

My friend gets to her ball, looks at it and looks where she has to hit the next shot.  She gets it figured out mentally before anything happens physically.  She then takes a club she feels will make the green, and again she swings with such grace and fluidity.  Watching her is almost like watching a slow-motion picture.  The ball takes off again and glides high this time, with fewer rolls on it when it hits the green.  It just stops short, not too far from the pin. Again she takes off in that beautiful stride of hers, one foot in front of the other.  She looks so determined, but doesn't forget where she is or what is happening around her.  The wind is blowing slightly and she has taken that into consideration for the shot.  She is aware of all nature around her. She passes a squirrel and chuckles to it, and I hear the animal almost answer her, in its own language.  She seems to have a way to "talk" to the animals and all of nature around her. We get to her ball on the green and she proceeds to putt it into the hole for a birdie. I say "nice birdie".  She just looks at me and says "thanks".

The game goes on like this for the rest of spring.  There are competitive games with others all over Long Island, New York, and New Jersey.  The summer comes and we play more golf, because we can't seem to get enough of the game. It has become an obsession with me - a love affair.  I begin to understand what is behind her eyes when I say "nice shot" to her.  She has been in a love affair with this game much longer than I.  I am more verbal about my shots and swings.  She is more relaxed and just glides through the motions. And yet, I can see she is ONE with the whole of what she is doing.  She is ONE with nature.

The wind starts to get cooler and there is championship after championship to be played.  It is nearing the end of the season for golf.  The love affair is slowly ending, and my friend seems to sense it.  And I know what is happening, too.  I don't look forward to the winter months of being inside and not out in the world of nature.  She starts to get a bit more anxious with her shots.  Her game is not as fine-tuned as it was in the summer months.  She walks a little faster down the fairways.  (I walk faster, too, because I am cold!)  We both have hats on now, sometimes gloves, and layers of clothing, to keep us warm.  And yet, we keep on playing at this love affair of ours.


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