I just left a friend's house after an overnight visit. A friend I've known for over 27 years.
Right now, I am sitting on a bench overlooking Cape Porpoise, ME harbor. It is one of my favorite places. It is about an hour from my home. I come here some times alone--some times bringing visiting friends. I come here in every season. I have a photograph of a dear friend and me in this very spot on a freezing-cold January day when the harbor was slick with ice crystals.
The harbor is beautiful-calm and peaceful. As I sit here looking at the beauty, my thoughts of friends pleasantly overtake my being mesmerized by the water, boats and island. My journal captures these thoughts (which are now being transcribed on my computer).
I think about the greeting card phrase "friends are the family you choose." I am fortunate in that my family are my friends--my daughter and son and their families being my best friends.
When I mentally survey the list of those I feel privileged to call friend, I realize they reflect the mirror of my life--each phase of it. There are the friends who shared childhood, school and college experiences. There are those who shared experiences of being a new parent, burgeoning careers and dramatic changes of life and loss.
My friends represent the rich tapestry of my life. Each is like a thread that I hung onto and wove into my happy and sad moments.
Last night over a glass (or two) of good wine, my friend and I talked about the old days--some good-some bad. We recounted a story we've told each other time after time about how we first met as strangers on a 36 ft. sailboat living together for five days. We were a part of three couples who were sailing around the island of Antigua. We could have become instant enemies--dealing with the close quarters and the "events" which happened every day. Instead we became close friends.
Her husband and mine are gone. We hold fast to the remaining couple, because they are the standard bearers of our original friendship.
As I left to go home this morning, I stopped for coffee, and then I was pulled to this bench, overlooking this harbor to collect my thoughts. I did not know that they would lean into a whole retrospective of thinking about all my friends. As I reread that sentence I wondered if it had an air of pomposity -- as if I were saying --"oh, look at me and how many friends I have." I was worried. That would be a terrible interpretation. Rather, the meaning I wish to convey is "look, how lucky I am." Because, in fact, I count my friends as one of my great blessings. And it's not often that I got to say a group "thank you."