The word “friend” is probably laden with as many nuances of meaning as the word “love.” After all, we have a wide variety of people in our lives that we might by some definition call friends, and we have a host of people to whom we attach some semblance of love.
Some people are friends by virtue of proximity, meaning you see them at exercise class every week or you see them sitting in the same pew at church on Sunday’s, you exchange a few pleasantries, learn each other’s names, and are in some measure, friends.
Some people are the lifelong buddies of days gone by. They know everything about you, or at least who you once were. Sometimes they remember things you had long ago forgotten, and actually wish they would forget too, when their old information about you no longer fits who you are today. Still, these are the people who are gold, the ones carved with lasting memories, the ones who remain in your heart forever and no time or distance can break the bond.
Then, there are the current friends, the “real” friends, the ones who lift your spirits when life turns upside down, or who catch you off center and make you laugh in spite of yourself. These are the inner circle friends, the ones who have permission to enter the sacred spaces of your heart and who safely and lovingly remind you of all that is good. These are the friends as Albert Schweitzer once said who are near when a light goes out. He said, “Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.”
No matter what lens you use to see the friends who surround you, they are all important. They all remind you that every experience in life is more beautiful when it is shared with a friend, with someone we love. Give a warm shout to your friends today and thank them for being such a wonderful part of your life.