I have been contemplating the most important things in my life lately (especially today on my birthday), and always come back to one: friendship. The meaning of this term can be different to each individual. For some it is a companion for nights out on the town, for others its the best friend they have known since childhood. It can be the sibling who knows your deepest thoughts, or an ex-lover who never leaves your heart. We develop our friendships based on where we are in this world. It starts out in our hometown, where we share memories of tackling the first decades of our lives. Then we go on to school or work, and meet new people who enter our hearts. We join activities of interest and add new individuals to the list to learn from and grow with. And through all the ups and downs of life, certain ones last forever. While others fade away but leave very important experiences behind. We should look at these special relationships as opportunities to learn who we are. Friends listen with empathy, take your side while opening your eyes to other viewpoints, and cherish you for your greatest qualities. There is nothing like that time spent with friends, enjoying a cup of tea, walking aimlessly around the town, or crying to about the struggles we face. After our bodies age, our bank accounts empty, and our memories fade, our friends stay there by our side. They are the true riches that last an eternity. And when we take our last breath, we imagine how our paths will cross once again, in other lives and dimensions.
Remember to be grateful for the true wealth you have in friendship. Call those important people in your life, stay connected, and let go when the time has come. Realize that a friendship is like a growing forest. Many bonds will be formed and grow, others will die, and all the possibilities in between. But no anger should be held for the ones that end, because what matters is the time they had with us. Each one is part of the vast ecosystem of this forest. It would not be complete without each individual tree, even the ones that fade away. Because they enrich the soil for new trees to grow, and growth is the cycle of life.
As you make those important connections with the ones you love, enjoy this classic Queen song that says it all. I’ve also included a poem that I have been working on about friendship and what it means to me. As I start year 27 of my life, I give gratitude for all the amazing people I have met thus far.
What is this thing they call a friend?
Will they be there ‘til the end?
Some like seasons, I’m told they’ll pass.
Some stay so long, some leave so fast.
And after time, we hold the past.
Wondering if we’re meant to last.
Questioning what it means to love.
Can it only be reached, when we touch?
So far away from my hands.
But memories…I never forget.
And those who live closest to home,
become my friends who I tell all.
Teaching me new lessons for my soul.
Different pieces each one holds.
Each friend an example of where my feet land.
I gather their love as I travel my path.
Proximity changes everything.
But certain bonds are anchored deep.
I moved away, far from home.
And left you there to grow your own.
You were there when I was a child.
And I was there with your first child.
How time has changed; our minds apart.
But the stories remain inside our hearts.
I say you’ll be there until the end.
The herstory deep, forever connected.
And even if the bridges wear.
It’s still to you, my soul I bare.
Each different friend, sees a different side.
Each different soul, connect differently to mine.
The commonalities are vast and strange.
Some share my strength, some share my pain.
A unique facet revealed to each.
All pieced together, then I’m complete.
So I see the old and new are one.
They make up the whole that I’ve become.
7/11/10 —–Preeti Pathak