I cannot claim to have a passel of friends. To me, friendship is not meant to be counted but rather treasured. I am the youngest of four children. I spent much of my childhood entertaining myself. Is that what made me an introvert or was that trait embedded in my DNA? Perhaps I fell to introversion because of environmental influences.
Our family moved frequently but until recently, I never acknowledged how that uprooting affected me. I never struggled to make friends, but I did struggle to keep them. Early on I tried to stay in touch as we moved, but eventually time and distance would gnaw away at the ties that may have otherwise bound us together. Honestly, I did not put up much of a fight. This was just how it was.
When I left Alaska for the last time, my life was in turmoil. Three cross-country moves in about five years and I was tired of starting over. I kept in touch with friends for a while, but time and circumstance took a toll and friendships waned. All but one.
No matter how much time passed, she never let me go. That silky thread of friendship held tight. She believed in the value of the love we shared. Even now, months can pass without a word. Then my phone will light up unexpectedly and it will be her.
No matter how much my body leaned into the familiarity of letting go, she would not let that happen. It took time for me to understand why she hung on. She treasured the ‘us’ in our friendship. It was a place of peace. A place of acceptance and sincerity. A place of familiarity and a sense of what has been.
Our friendship has endured 43 years. That is a record for me, my friends. She recently called me because she needed her friend. She needed a tranquil place where she could cry the tears she wanted no one else to witness. Then we laughed and talked about grandchildren (we barely had children all those years ago.)
I have no questions this week. I simply wonder if you have experienced the calm serenity that comes from staying the course.
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