Old Friends

Hold a true friend with both hands.” – Rumi

Yesterday I had lunch with my dearest and oldest friend, Katie. We met when I was my daughter’s age – six and a half years old and she was seven. We went to grade school, junior high, high school and college together. We’ve lived together, dated the same guy (not at the same time), argued and most of all laughed. We’ve aged together, sometimes growing apart and then returning to be close again.

Sitting there talking with her, I realize there is so much comfort in effortless vulnerability. We don’t need to be anyone in particular because our shared context means we’ve seen it all. And more than anything, we’ve earned the right to hear each other’s stories because we’ve shown up for all these years.

When my friend calls these days, which isn’t very often because we mostly text, I always try to pick up. And whatever and whenever she asks something of me, which is also rare, I say “yes” to. Because we’ve gone on so long that I know she’s considered the impact on me as well as any other person can.

I think movies, specifically RomCom’s gave me the mistaken impression that friends like Katie come into our lives all the time. Life has told me that we are lucky if we get one or two in all of our years. She embodies the lovely description of an honest friend I recently read again in The Book of Awakening.

“Having an honest friend – one before whom you can dump all your heart’s pockets and still feel that you are worth something – is a form of wealth that will buy you nothing but will give you everything. And mysteriously and rightly, to find such a friend, we must be such a friend.”

The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo

Driving away from lunch I felt so light, even with stomach full of pasta. I realized that time with her is like time without my armor on – the armor of accomplishment or knowledge or experience or humor — whatever it is I use to protect against vulnerability. That, along with understanding, might be one of the best gifts of an honest friend.

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14 thoughts on “Old Friends

  1. “Having an honest friend – one before whom you can dump all your heart’s pockets and still feel that you are worth something – is a form of wealth that will buy you nothing but will give you everything. And mysteriously and rightly, to find such a friend, we must be such a friend.”

    Thanks for sharing this Wynne. I’ve been blessed with a 1/2 dozen such “… sticketh closer than a brother …” friends in my life, and they have made the journey easier.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I had only two best friends when I was in school, and neither one was at the same time in history, so, therefore, one at a time, both helped me with the turmoil of growing up. Since those days of school, I didn’t have a best friend until I met my second and current husband. And he’s been my best friend for 31 years now. Best friends are one of the definite good things in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a beautiful way you describe your husband! Yes, one of the definitely good things in life.
      I’m so interested in the unique relationships we create from blogging. Different from our best friends but still with a level of connection and openness. So glad to have met you here, G.J.!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are blessed. Friends like this are a treasure. They’re such a valuable part of life. They must be taken care of like a beautiful pearl. I sense a poem coming on … 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

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