Images of Friendship

I’ve written about friendship before on any number of occasions. I’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful friends in my life who have shared my joys with me, companioned me through difficult times and supported and encouraged me in so many ways. I think of Joe sitting through two hours of miserable traffic in the pouring rain to pick me up at LaGuardia so we could eat dinner together during one of my visits to NY. Of John waiting to greet me after my younger cousin’s wake with a glass of wine and a broad shoulder to lean on. Of Doug flying from San Diego to Minneapolis to spend three days helping me unpack after my move here three years ago. Of Robin, who I had not seen in several years, putting her arms around me at my father’s wake murmering, “I’m here.” The memories flood and I could fill pages without having to think very hard.

And, of course, I’ve done the same. Flown far distances or sat through miserable traffic to be where a friend needed me to be. Provided support to friends who were experiencing pain and suffering. Sat on the telephone with, or next to someone, who needed to talk even when I was tired or had something else I was supposed to do. Not to mention just the joy of sharing meals and conversation and sometimes just being silly together.

Someone once shared with me that his image of friendship was captured by the image of sand in an hourglass – finite, such that once the grains of sand run through, it is over. I remember how sad I was when he said that to me, horrified at such an impoverished view of friendship.

Friendship is love. Friendship is caring. It gives and takes in accordance with the needs of the one or the other, with no reckoning of or concern with who got more on a particular day. And most importantly, friendship doesn’t run out. Friendships continue to grow and flourish so long as the friends allow them to.

As I do every day, I give thanks this day for my friends.