The older I get, the more I value the simple cadence of friendship. I crave the spaces and people who are music for my soul, who help me see where I shine as well as where I fade – and who care not one bit which it is because the friendship we share isn’t about getting anything fixed but about walking together toward the person we truly are. True friends see the good in me more than I’m able to see it myself.
Buechner got it right. “Friends are people you make part of your life just because you feel like it.” I have a few friends like this. I hope to God you do to.
I have an image. We’re sitting around a night sky (probably Colorado), miles from the noise. We have a fire popping. We have our pipes. We’re sitting round a circle, our breath blowing mist into the crisp air, deep rhythms. We sit, maybe for an hour, silent, with only puffs of smoke and crackle of fire to distract. Finally, someone shifts, signaling a readiness to speak. We listen expectantly as he breathes in, soon to break the long quiet. Well, he says, peering into the fire. He exhales a long sigh, his shoulders releasing again. We all nod in agreement and then return to our conversation amid silence.