I recently caught up with a friend who came to visit me the week I was born. We grew up together, then our families grew up together and we sometimes relive a lifetime of memories built around blackberry picking, prawning, bonfire nights, shared holidays and so much more. We remember mishaps and misadventures and can laugh about them now, in hindsight. I remember one camping trip. The camp site had a bathhouse of all things. Who ever heard of the luxury of a bath while camping? Loving baths as I do, I grabbed the opportunity. The only problem was the lock was faulty so there was no way of being sure the door was secure, so my friend kindly stood guard.
Later that night my friend's husband decided to have a bath but we forgot to warn him about the lock. He came back to the tent somewhat embarrassed with a tale about someone walking in on him as he bathed. They are the crazy memories that are special because they are unique to your friendship.
I love Mary Engelbreit's way of explaining it, "As with any journey, who you travel with can be more important than your destination".
To have a rich and enduring friendship is to have one of the most precious gifts in life. If you have one true friend you are indeed blessed.
You cannot put a price on the gift of friendship, it is priceless.
- A friend is a witness to my life. Someone who has been on the journey of life with me, has believed in me and valued who I am ... who can remind me how far I've come. Someone with whom I can share my innermost thoughts and struggles and not be judged ... who shares my joys and successes and gets excited with me. Someone who truly knows and accepts me, a safe haven.
- True friends have been a mirror to me, enabling me to see myself through another person's eyes. They encourage me to be my best self and discourage me from the things that make me less than I can be.
- Friendship is unmerited grace. It's a commitment to continually turning up and being there for the other person, through thick and thin. Its about continual tolerance, mercy and forgiveness.
- A friendship is a commitment of two people to invest in the relationship. There is no such thing as a nonreciprocal friendship. By its very definition, its a two way street, a mutual giving and receiving, which is both health giving and nourishing. It keeps you looking out beyond yourself.
- Unlike our relatives, friendship is a choice. We are in it because we want to be. And the choice continues, the more I invest into the friendship, the deeper it grows. "Friendship is a slow ripening fruit" - Aristotle.
I treasure the tangible reminders of friends ... recipes shared and marked with their name in my recipe book; Molly's fruit cake and Shirley's Strawberry Mousse ... in plants swapped and now blooming in my garden ... in books given with names engraved on the flyleaf. They are happy reminders of rich times together over the years ... of lifelong friends and those just given for a season.
We leave an imprint on someone's life through the gift of our friendship.