Old friends

I don’t make friends easily. I can hang out with people who share my interests. I can make small talk over a glass of wine (although it has only been in recent years that I have come to recognize that I can actually do that reasonably well). But making real friends doesn’t come easily or quickly.

Those who I call true friends number in the single digits that is to say people I would call in the middle of the night (I probably never will call any if them, but I know I could!). And then there are just two or possibly three friends who I know I can ask for any kind of help and they will say yes first and consider the consequences later. One of those friends is someone I met just over twelve years ago.

I have been blessed this week to be able to reconnect with her. We live a continent apart and neither of us is particularly good at communicating long distance. But somehow the passage of time just isn’t significant. The essential things that drew us into friendship remain, and we share habits of relaxation which mean that a holiday together just means more conversation, and a few more adventures, but for neither of us is it more stressful than time spent alone. A very big deal for two strong introverts!

As we have slipped easily into companionship, I find myself marveling at the gift of such a friendship. We have never lived in the same city, technically we have never lived in the same country although England and Scotland seem less like individual countries than states (my African heritage, coupled with extended stays in the USA may have biased my perspective significantly – no disrespect to my Scottish ancestors!). Our lives intersected significantly for four years, and yet eight years later we can still find common ground. It is a great blessing, something to be treasured.

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