One of the nicest things I've been able to do recently is to spend more time with friends. On Wednesday I spent a sunny afternoon with Tamar, who had moved into the neighborhood earlier this year. We sat and talked in her garden for a few hours. White petals fell gently from the dogwood tree while the light shimmered around us. I watched the shadows dancing around the red maple tree while Tamar talked, her voice the only sound in that quiet enclosure. It seemed as if the whole world had quietly slipped away, leaving us alone among trees.