Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Once a Decade Moment of Sappiness - For my friends

What is friendship? Real and true friendship, is it something that you experience in a moment? A brief fleeting pearl of time when you make a connection so strong that you feel like you have known each other for a life time? Is relationships that tend like a tree in an orchard, carefully pruning away the lifeless branches, giving others room to bloom and bear fruit? Is it stable and strong providing you with a firm place to leap from? Safety and security in a storm? Is it pliable, bending and swaying with the rhythms of life?

Is a friend someone you talk to every day? Someone with whom you have a brief encounter? That person who calls you up in the middle of the night to celebrate a small triumph or grieve over a great woe? Is it the person that only calls every two years, but it feels like you have never been apart? Someone to tell your secrets to, the one with whom all your pretenses easily fall away and sees you for who you really are?

Are they sources of strength in their quiet acceptance? Are they fountains of spontaneity, pulling you into shenanigans you would never do on your own? Do they push you dig deeper, fly higher, and try harder? Give you permission to rest, to cry, to laugh when no one else understands? Can you believe great dreams with them or simply be?

Do you fight, love, and become who you would hope to be in their presence? Do they call you on your garbage, especially when it is aimed at yourself? Do they let you wallow in self pity and then pull you out of the pits of despair when the timer goes off? Is honesty tempered with love? Is strength softened with compassion?

Can you hold their hands and watch as their world crumbles before them, because you know they stood by you when yours came crashing down? Do you ache with their pain when they lose it all? Does their tragedy rip at your heart, even as you hold it together to be a haven for them?

In my life, I have been blessed with a handful of friends. People who have been one or all of these things to me, for me, and ones for whom I hope to be the same for them. For a few of us, our lives are so entangled that you cannot tell where one life starts and the other begins. We have shared it all joy, triumph, heartache, fear, and hope. We dream our biggest dreams together, and we gently ground each other when we try to fly higher than our wings were made to go. We have held each other up when the world has rolled beneath our feet, leaving us to wonder if this life too cruel to be endured.

They are friends who listen to my midnight rants, and for them no call comes to late or early. They are the ones who call me on delusions of grandeur but refuse to let me accept the title of victim. They are the voices that remind me to be honest with myself, but to attempt great things. They are the ones who will pick me up when I need a ride, invade my fortress of solitude, and push me into the deep end. I love them because they are gentle with my frailties, and tough on my stupidity.

I have friends that I met once, and like sisters separate at birth we struggle to fit an entire lifetime of stories into a single afternoon. Laughing and sharing scars as we recognize one who knows us without being told, but taking delight in the telling. These friends are like a glass of fine wine – savored, enjoyed, and remembered fondly with a smile. They are the ones I wish I could call back into my life, but time and distance makes it impossible, so we rest in the comfort of knowing merely that they exist. Waiting for the day when perhaps there will be another few moments of indulgence.

Each friendship so different, valuable and beautiful for their uniqueness, and what they have brought to my life. Each making my world a little larger, a little less lonely, and little more of an adventure. They have helped me see myself better, and they have loved me as I am. You have helped me love me a little better, and with you I have learned to enjoy who I am. It is one of the greatest gifts a human being can give to another.

So there it is, my one moment of sappiness for this decade. I know I can count on all my true friends to torment me unmercifully about it. I love you any way.

1 comment:

Olde Hermit said...

Yay! I so realize which category I fit into! It has been almost 5 years since I met you. I was thinking about that the other day and got out my old diary to see what it was again you had dreamed when you were talking in your sleep. I had forgotten it was so morbid and had wished once I read it that I hadn't. :) But I did notice that the date was 2006. My how different things now are for both of us. :) I wonder what adventures the next five years will bring.