Salute to Friendship

 Let’s celebrate our friendships, the ones we’ve had for years, the ones we’ve just made, and the ones that are just around the corner.  We share degrees of friendship with each person in our lives.  We may have a kind of friendship with the person who serves us coffee at Starbucks, or the person in the neighborhood who stops to say hello as we walk by.  These are the buds of friendship, the kind that may or may not blossom into late night chats, but are still important to our daily lives.  They give us a reason to smile.

 For most of us though, friendship is like fresh air, the thing that helps us breathe life in more fully.  We’re committed to each other.  We hold up the light of possibility when things are uncertain.  We listen, we laugh, we seek to understand and when we don’t understand, we let it all go.  We shop and we explore and we keep the music playing because friendship brings a song to our hearts.  We are connected and fully visible and it feels good.  Three cheers!

 C.S. Lewis said that friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:  “What?  You, too?  I thought I was the only one.”    We don’t want to travel the world alone and so we count on our friends to serve as mirrors, to reflect back to us what’s important, or to give us a chance to laugh at ourselves when we fall down.  Friends walk with us, no matter what.

 As Albert Camus said, “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.  Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.  Just walk beside me and be my friend.”   Friends may bump into you now and then without meaning to, but they won’t throw you over or off the tracks.  They may get slightly miffed about something going on between you, but they’ll always find a way to make up over brownies and coffee.   Friends need each other and that’s a good thing.

 You’ve probably noticed with cherished friendships that no matter how long you may be apart, even if years pass by, once you’re together again, the connection you have is solid.  You’re plugged in, ready to give and receive more of what you share.  Friends are forever and that’s the real truth.

So, let’s celebrate all our friends, the new ones, the-couldn’t-live-without-you ones, and the ones yet to be discovered.  There can be no loftier title, no degree achieved, or no equation stronger than the one that is summed up in the word “friend.”  Hug your friends today and give each other a round of hearty applause.