February 2, 2020: Threads of Gold
“A friend is a gift you give yourself.”Robert Louis Stevenson
This past week, on two separate occasions, I received gifts of time with old friends. Old, in the respect we’ve been known each other for a very, long time. Over the years, we’ve celebrated, commiserated, laughed, mourned, shared advice and life’s events. Through the years of raising our children to saying goodbye to loved ones, these women have been the golden threads that add depth and strength to the tapestry of my life.
It’s been a challenge to get together as all of us have busy lives. Yet when I left each of these gatherings, I realized how precious the friendships and the time together was to me. An old girl scout song about friendships, resurfaced from the depths of memories, a reminder about the true value of deep friendships and the love they bring into our lives.
I call these women “sisters of my heart”. They might not be blood relatives, but our hearts beat on the same wire. When you’ve been friends for as long as we have been, there is a shared history resulting in a trust level ,knowing you are accepted and loved for who you are. The beauty of long term friendships is that you can be apart for months on end, yet once together, meaningful conversations flow. There isn’t any need to try and impress long time friends, as they know both our strengths and our frailties, and love us for and despite them.
Life is busy, full of demands and unexpected events. For both of these dates with my friends, we had tried for several months to find a mutually conducive time. We chatted and texted on the phone, but digital calls aren’t the same as being in their presence. Yet the joy of finally getting together, offset the time between visits. It isn’’t how often we get together that makes it so treasured, but the richness of what happens when we do.
In searching for quotes to share on friendship, I found a multitude whose creators spanned history from early Greece to present times. Their heartfelt writings presented a poignant illustration of how friendships truly are the golden threads that illuminate the days of our lives.
I’ve selected some that struck a chord in my heart:
“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.-Aristotle
“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”-William Shakespeare
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”-Marcel Proust
“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.”
“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, for in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”Kahlil Gibran
“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”Eleanor Roosevelt
“It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”John Leonard
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself — and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.”Jim Morrison
“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.”-Charles R. Swindoll
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”C.S. Lewis
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”Anais Nin
“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.”Elizabeth Foley
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”Albert Schweitzer
Have any of these brought thoughts of a special friend(s) as you’ve been reading? What do you treasure about your friendships?