The Golden Sessions

By Josh Bishop

When first I read those C.S. Lewis quotes — 
there’s no sound like the laughter of grown men,
he wrote, and nothing like a group of friends
before a fire to recline and smoke, 
to drink and talk at ease: golden sessions,
rare and therefore precious — I didn’t know
quite what he meant. But, six years later, now,
six short years and countless, unearned blessings
— of joy, of friendship, wisdom, laughter, rest —
at last I understand and must agree:
life has few better gifts to give than we
five friends at this, our too-infrequent fest,
with manful laughter loudly sounding our
own souls’ communion, our own golden hour.

In case you’re wondering about the C.S. Lewis quotes, here they are:

“My happiest hours are spent with three or four old friends in old clothes tramping together and putting up in small pubs — or else sitting up till the small hours in someone’s college rooms talking nonsense, poetry, theology, metaphysics over beer, tea, and pipes. There’s no sound I like better than adult male laughter.”

qtd. in The Narnian

“In a perfect Friendship this Appreciative love is, I think, often so great and so firmly based that each member of the circle feels, in his secret heart, humbled before the rest. Sometimes he wonders what he is doing there among his betters. He is lucky beyond desert to be in such company. Especially when the whole group is together; each bringing out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the others. Those are the golden sessions; when four or five of us after a hard day’s walk have come to our inn; when our slippers are on, our feet spread out toward the blaze and our drinks are at our elbows; when the whole world, and something beyond the world, opens itself to our minds as we talk; and no one has any claim on or any responsibility for another, but all are freemen and equals as if we had first met an hour ago, while at the same time an Affection mellowed by the years enfolds us. Life — natural life — has no better gift to give. Who could have deserved it?”

The Four Loves

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