“As much as I love my friends, I wouldn't think of going out to lunch with a woman. I can't think of anything less interesting, except hen parties and showers — and I avoid them like the plague.” Thus spake Betty White in a not-so-recent edition of AARP magazine.

Obviously, Betty White never had lunch with Jill Kuykendall. (Or dozens of other women who will go unnamed only because my blog gets cranky when I go too far over its word limit) I chose Jill because she’s a lunch companion extraordinaire and because our recent rendezvous still dangles in my mind like a crystal in the sun. Four miles above Kona, Hawaii in the artist’s colony village of Holualoa, we dined in the sheltering outdoor space of Holuakoa Gardens and Café--a celebratory reunion after many years apart.

Yet for all its exotic aesthetics and special circumstances, this meal with Jill followed the lunching protocol I’ve come to love: The dialogue begins before we settle into our seats and reluctantly pauses only to pay attention to the menu at the behest of the delightful wait person. (You do have to eat to talk there.) Fresh Ono salads! Done! Now we were freed into the open field of our lives, finding the pulse of the other as we jaunt, then saunter, through various subjects: the resurgence of Hawaiian breadfruit as a means of mass sustenance, and Jill’s involvement in its world-wide movement; my overview of the bread crumb trail that led me from Sacramento to Fresno to Maui to Oregon in less time than would be considered wise for a sane person; the origins of her work as a shaman journeyer (too fascinating for me to eat and listen at the same time); reflections on my path as an astrologer and its parallels to her own calling;  the confounding and treasured relationships with the people we call our children; her entrance into the world of Hawaiian gardening after a lifetime of being ever so unearthy and unearthly…and much more--all doused with great, wild laughter that made dessert unnecessary. We were blessedly full.

But the subject matter, I assure you, was merely the means to invoking a state that I’ve come to think of as “The Evolutionary Lunch High.” The truest nourishment wasn’t on the table or in the topics. It was in the flow of energy that comes when two people share the hazards and hilarity, the stupendous magic (and pratfalls) of their emerging selves with honesty and mutual respect. No judgments and few conclusions. No dull details or boring complaints—just up-to-the-minute juicy soul-path sharing accompanied by the seasoning of discovery and revelation.

When the clock demanded a parting, we hugged and looked into each other’s grinning faces.
“This has been …” I began, but faltered to find a word that would satisfy my feelings.
 “Gold,” she said. 
Before I knew it, I was down the steep, winding mountain and in the waiting room of Hawaiian Family Dental. Still shimmering from the lunch with Jill, I picked up an outdated copy of AARP magazine to browse.

Oh, Betty, you don’t know what you’re missing!

I'd love to hear what lunch, (tea, coffee or wine) with like-minded friends contributes to your life!

The Journey Is Always Better Together!